After a glittering 17 year professional career, Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic announced his retirement from football.
He will go down as one of the greatest strikers in Croatia’s history and is their second most prolific goalscorer of all time. Mandzukic finishes his career with 671 appearances and 251 goals. Here is a look at five of the most memorable goals Mario Mandzukic has scored during his career.
Top Five Mario Mandzukic Goals
2017 Champions League Final v Real Madrid
Juventus were trailing 1-0 at the time before a moment of magic from the Croatian hauled Juventus level. A ball into the box by Alex Sandro found Gonzalo Higuain. He chested the ball down and passed it to Mandzukic.
The Croatian took the ball on his chest and then arched a wonderful overhead kick with his right foot over Keylor Navas in the Real Madrid goal. Juventus would eventually lose the final 4-1 but Mandzukic’s goal was one to remember and would win the UEFA goal of the season award in 2017.
2018 World Cup Semi-Final v England
Mario Mandzukic would make 89 appearances and score 33 goals for Croatia. The biggest goal he ever scored for his nation was the winner in the 2018 World Cup semi-final against England.
With the scores level after 90 minutes, the match went into extra time. That changed with just ten minutes to go in the second period of extra time. Ivan Perisic flicked a header on in England’s penalty area which was well anticipated by Mandzukic. He then wrapped his left foot around the ball and drilled it beyond Jordan Pickford in the England goal.
Croatia would hang on to win a place in the World Cup final for the first time in their history.
2013 Champions League Final v Borussia Dortmund
The Croatian striker’s solitary Champions League success came in 2013 whilst playing with Bayern Munich. It was Mandzukic’s first appearance in a Champions League final.
After an hour, neither side had managed to find a breakthrough until Mandzukic popped up to put Bayern ahead. Arjen Robben drove to the byline and cut the ball back to Mandzukic. He had the easiest of tasks and tapped the ball into the empty net to send Bayern’s fans wild.
İlkay Gundogan levelled for Borussia Dortmund via the penalty spot before Arjen Robben won it in the last minute to give Bayern their first Champions League success in 12 years.
2018 World Cup Final v France
This is a goal that Mandzukic would like to forget. After scoring the winner in the semi-final against England to get Croatia into the World Cup Final, the striker would score in the final against France.
However, unfortunately for him, it was an own goal that gave France the lead in the final. A free-kick from French striker Antoine Griezmann was flicked on by the head of Mandzukic. Unluckily for him, he flicked the ball over Danijel Subašić’s head and into his own net. It gave him the dubious honour of becoming the first player to score an own goal in World Cup final history.
It was the start of a day to forget for Croatia as France ran out 4-2 winners to win their second World Cup title. The match was the last time Mandzukic played for Croatia, although he also scored at the right end, as he announced his retirement from international football shortly afterwards.
2013 Bundesliga v Eintracht Frankfurt
In 2013, Bayern Munich travelled to the Commerzbank-Arena to take on Eintracht Frankfurt in week two of the new Bundesliga season. Bayern were under new management with Pep Guardiola taking over from Jupp Heynckes.
The only goal of the game came after 13 minutes thanks to a wonderful volley from Mandzukic. A pinpoint cross from Thomas Muller found the Croatian striker who showed great technique to hit a perfectly timed volley into the roof of the net.
Mandzukic would go on to score an incredible 21 goals in 30 Bundesliga games, as Bayern strolled to the title losing just two games. The Croatian will go down as one of the best centre-forwards of his generation and will be able to look back at a glittering football career.