Nemanja Vidic retires from Serbia national team

Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic and scored twice for his country
Vidic made his debut for Serbia in 2002

Nemanja Vidic has confirmed his retirement from the Serbia national team, citing criticism of his attitude as the principal reason.

The Manchester United captain, 30, won 56 caps for his country.

He said: "The main reason for this decision is that for a long time, the media, and therefore the public, have criticised my attitude towards the national team.

"I have played when injured and sometimes against the will of my club."

Earlier this month Vidic hinted that he was considering his international future after last month's 1-0 defeat in Slovenia ended Serbia's chances of securing a play-off place in the Euro 2012 qualifiers.

The highlight of his international career was reaching the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, although Serbia did not make it beyond the group phase despite beating Germany 1-0.

In the build-up to that tournament, Vidic was forced to appeal to fans to stop rioting during a 1-0 friendly defeat to New Zealand.

In an open letter to the Serbian Football Federation, he revealed that he had defied Sir Alex Ferguson to play for his country when not fully fit, but had grown tired of the reception in his homeland.

He added: "I want to inform the public that after long consideration, and with a heavy heart, I have decided to say goodbye to the Serbian national team.

"I feel, after 10 years of playing for my country, it is the right time for me to stand aside and allow the younger players to come through."

In a statement, the SFF praised Vidic's commitment, as well as making it clear he would always be considered for a recall.

The statement said: "While we respect his decision, we want to emphasise the door to the national team is not closed and, should all the conditions be met, it would be a great honour if he rejoined the team."

The centre-back has managed just one Premier League start this season after sustaining a calf problem in the 2-1 win at West Brom on the opening weekend of the season.

After being sent off on his return to the United team in last week's 2-0 Champions League victory over Otelul Galati, Vidic was not included in Ferguson's squad for the 6-1 defeat to City on Sunday.

Serbia are in the same 2014 World Cup qualifying group as Scotland and Wales.