Mario Mandžukić Enrolls in HNS Coaching Academy

By 15 October 2021
Mario Mandžukić Enrolls in HNS Coaching Academy
Igor Kralj/PIXSELL

October 15, 2021 - Former Croatia striker Mario Mandžukić has taken the first steps in his new career outside the pitch and enrolled in the HNS coaching academy. 

Mario Mandžukić announced the end of his great career in September in an emotional Instagram post addressed to his younger self. 

"Dear little Mario,

While you put on these boots for the first time, you can't even imagine what you will get to experience in football. You'll score goals at the biggest stages and you'll win the biggest trophies with the biggest clubs. Proudly representing your nation, you will help write the history of Croatian sports.

You'll succeed because you'll have good people around you – teammates, coaches, fans, and family, agents and friends who will always be there for you. You'll be forever grateful to all of them!

Above all, you'll succeed because you'll always give your best. At the end, that's what you'll be most proud of. You'll sacrifice a lot, but you'll know it was worth it because of all the amazing moments.

You'll recognize the moment to retire, to put these boots in a cabinet and you'll have no regrets. Football will always be a part of your life, but you'll look forward to a new chapter.

Your big Mario

P.S. If you happen to play vs England in the World Cup, just be ready around 109th minute"

But it was clear that he wouldn't rest for long.

The legendary Croatian striker has enrolled in the HNS coaching academy and is attending a competition for the UEFA B license, which is the beginning of the road to the UEFA PRO license required to run clubs in, say, the Croatian First League, reports

Mandžukić will have 160 hours of classes, after which he will have to pass the exams with, on average, very good results. If he decides to enroll in a course for a UEFA A license, which is expected, he will have to do a year of coaching practice, which he could do in the professional coaching staff of the national team if there is the will on both sides.

The road to obtaining a PRO license is very long and for Croatian footballers much longer than for former professionals in some other countries, such as Germany. If he continues with his exams, Mandžukić could get a PRO license in six to seven years, and then theoretically he could become a "real" coach. Lectures for the B, A, and PRO categories will cost around 20,000 kuna.

Mandžukić is just one in a series of former Croatia national team players and professionals who have decided to take up a coaching job in recent years. Vedran Ćorluka, Ivica Olić, Ognjen Vukojević, Jerko Leko, Mihael Mikić, Mario Carević, and many others attend the HNS academy, which is known as very good.

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