A long-running Achilles problem has taken its toll on the V-Bomber, who has been linked with a move to Croatian giants Hajduk Split.
Aug 26, 2009 4:09:00 AM
Mark Viduka’s career appears all but over, according to friend and former Socceroo, Eddie Krncevic, who suggested that recent reports claiming that the former Newcastle United striker had played his last game of professional football were true.
Goal.com caught up with Krncevic – one of Australia’s most successful football exports during the 1980s – to discuss his fellow countryman’s situation.
Injury and family reasons appear to be primary reasons behind Viduka’s reluctance to commit to the game; he recently spurned the chance to link up with Socceroo teammate Mark Schwarzer at Fulham, instead choosing to retreat to the familiar surrounds of Croatia.
Krncevic believes that a rumoured move to Croatian giants Hajduk Split will not materialise.
“I think that all this talk of Mark wanting to ‘start a new life’, afresh, are very true,” Krncevic told Goal.com.
“The Croatian papers recently claimed of reignited interest in Mark from Hajduk Split but personally I don’t think it will eventuate.
“I reckon he’s had enough, and I suspect that injury is the key reason – especially after his bad Achilles injury.”
While Krncevic would like to see the 33-year-old continue at both club and international level, he insists that the player’s final decision must be respected.
He said, “I do think he still has much to offer to the game, particularly with the national team.
“Whether he wants to stop, everyone just needs to respect his decision.”
Until now, no official statement from either the player or agent has been made on Viduka’s career.
However, reports suggest the former Leeds United hitman has pulled the plug on a career that saw him score in three different European leagues, though those exploits in front of goal were never matched on the international stage.
Viduka last played for the Socceroos in their unsuccessful Asian Cup campaign in 2007.
Daniel Phan and Chris Paraskevas, Goal.com
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