Dzeko Pens Heartfelt Letter to Retired Teammate Kolarov

Edin Dzeko bid farewell to Serbian veteran Aleksandr Kolarov, who announced his retirement from professional football after 18 years at the top level of the beautiful game, at the age of 36. He will nonetheless continue his journey in the sport as part of backroom staff – perhaps in the function of a sporting director or scout – rather than a career in punditry or coaching.

His contract with Inter expires at the end of the ongoing month, and with no talks of an extension existing between the Nerazzurri and the explosive wingback, he has decided to call it a day.

The retirement of Kolarov left current teammate Edin Dzeko reeling, as the two spent the past decade switching teams together. The Bosnian marksman has penned a heartfelt salute to his decade-long colleague on Facebook (via Tuttosport). 

“From Manchester to Roma to Milan, we have been through a lot together, good and bad. You welcomed me in Manchester and helped me become part of a family. Then we briefly parted ways and I waited for you in Rome, and then you left and welcomed me again but this time in Milan, where football and the desire to win brought us together again.

Through all these years together, you have become much more than a friend to me. After a few months spent together in Manchester, you were no longer just a teammate, but a friend, a supporter.

You were there for me when I needed it, I was there for you whenever I needed to be. Your crosses, my goals, we knew each other on the pitch better than anyone and I can’t tell you how sad I am that we won’t get to watch you on the pitch anymore.”

Everyone has to say goodbye at some point and I am proud that I had the opportunity to share a dressing room with you throughout my career. Rejoicing in our achievements, titles, and goals together.

You are more than a teammate, more than a friend, and the fact we won’t meet on the pitch again doesn’t change anything because we’ll tell our children about the memories we made whenever we see each other, which will be often. Rest up, brother, and enjoy!”

The duo helped City lift their first two Premier League titles in history (2011/12 & 2013/14) before spending three years together at the Giallorossi. They were united for a third time after Dzeko joined Inter from Roma last season, with Kolarov having already jumped onto the black-and-blue ship back in 2020/21.

The defender ends his club career with 58 goals from 580 appearances. On the international stage, he is Serbia’s fourth-highest capped player with 94 appearances, only behind Branislav Ivanovic, Dejan Stankovic, and Savo Milosevic.