Thursday January 2 2020
Mandzukic: 'A warrior all my life'

Mario Mandzukic admits “not playing was something new for me, but I’ve been a warrior all my life” as he leaves Juventus for Al-Duhail.

The Croatia international has now signed for Al-Duhail SC in the Qatar Stars League and held a presentation press conference.

“I had plenty of time to reflect on all the offers that I received and my long professional career in Europe made me think seriously about seeking another environment to continue working,” said the 33-year-old.

“I want to thank the Al-Duhail Sports Club, because I’ve had a wonderful few days so far and received help from them both on and off the field. I immediately felt at home and that’s a very good sign for me.

“I also got to see Medhi Benatia again, who is a marvellous player and person. His presence here is very useful for me.”

Mandzukic has not played since May 2019, as he was cut out of the Juventus squad by new coach Maurizio Sarri, not taken into consideration even after refusing summer transfers.

It was an unfortunate end to the experience in Turin after four-and-a-half years.

“Not playing was something new for me, but I’ve been a warrior all my life, so I fought hard to stay in shape. Obviously, I need to get to know my teammates, but I do feel good and kept myself on form,” noted Mandzukic.

“I don’t like to talk about the past, so let’s look to the future. I said everything I wanted to on social media and don’t want to repeat myself.”

The Croatian did reject suggestions he clashed with Cristiano Ronaldo in training.

“Everyone knows he is an incredible player and works so hard on improving himself. I really enjoyed playing with him, as we understood each other perfectly.”

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