Tour de France 2022
Tour de France 2022

Marek Hamšík says goodbye to Slovak representation

Marek Hamšík says goodbye to Slovak representation

Marek Hamšík, the long-time captain of the Slovak football representation, has retired from the national team. The decision was announced on his official website on Monday, the day of the national team's nomination for the Nations League matches in June. It will be the first match after 15 years when the Slovaks will have to do without the 34-year-old midfielder of Turkish Trabzonspor.

Hamšík played 135 games in the Slovak jersey between 2007 and 2021 and scored 26 goals. He made his debut on 7 February 2007 in Jerez in the Slovakia-Poland preliminary match. He took part in the 2010 World Cup as well as the 2016 and 2020 European Championships, and his last match was last November 11 in the 2022 World Cup qualifier in Trnava against Slovenia.

"It was not easy, I thought for a long time, but after fifteen years I decided to close an important and wonderful part of my football career," Hamsik said on his website. "It has been a long and beautiful journey and I am very proud of it. I am touched that I was able to be present at all the greatest successes of the Slovak national football team. I was able to be part of the team that graduated from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and reached the European Championships in 2016 and 2021. It was a great honour for me to lead the Slovak national team in more than fifty matches also as captain. I have always taken representing my country as a huge honour, responsibility and have always tried to do my best for our fans. It was always wonderful to sing the Slovak anthem before the matches and to see the fans in the stands with our flags. You didn't need more motivation. Thank you to all the coaches, teammates and management teams with whom I had the privilege to work and together we tried to do everything for the success of Slovak football."

"The era of Martin Škrtel and Marek Hamšík is over and a new one is beginning. Players who gave a lot to the national team have finished. I am glad that I could work with both of them. This team will miss Marek Hamsik personally, they will miss his player typology and the experience he gained during his career. On the other hand, there is room for players who must replace Marek in order to be successful in the new stage," said national coach Stefan Tarkovic at Monday's press conference.

Argentina have their Messi, Portugal have their Ronaldo, Slovakia had their Hamšík.

Source: TASR

Zuzana Botiková, Photo: TASR

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