Serbian defender Nemanja Vidic announced his international retirement last night as his country failed to make the finals of Euro 2012 following defeat to neighbours Slovenia.The 29-year old Manchester United player said that it is "time for a change of generation and for some older players to make way". He continued, saying "I do accept however, that I could have picked a better time than half-way through my run-up to take that penalty".
It wasn't the best time at all. With Slovenia hanging on to a 1-0 lead and just under half an hour left, Vidic had the chance to bring Serbia level in a game they needed to win in order to stand any chance of making the play-offs, when Aleksander Kolarov went down under a challenge from Marko Suler. It looked innocuous, but referee Frank de Bleeckere pointed to the spot. Up stepped Vidic who later described his thought process. "The old cliché when taking penalties is that you shouldn't change your mind. If you look at the tape, you can see the point at which I do precisely that and change my mind about carrying on and decide to retire. That made it too easy for the keeper".
Estonia progress to the play-offs instead of Serbia for one of the remaining four places in the finals.