Croatia defender Dejan Lovren has retired from international football at the age of 33.

The Lyon centre-back announced on Thursday that he has played his last game for his country.

Lovren won 78 caps, the last of which coming in a 3-0 World Cup semi-final defeat to an Argentina side that went on to be crowned champions in Qatar in December.

The former Liverpool man, who made his Croatia debut in 2009, was an unused substitute for a victory over Morocco's in the third-place play-off.

Lovren played his part in Croatia's run to the World Cup final in 2018, when they were beaten by France.

He said in a lengthy open letter: "I want to tell every single young football player in the country that they must look at the Croatian national team as a completely other dimension of football ā€“ look at these players as your superheroes.

"The most beautiful chapters of my national team story were the ones that we wrote during the past five years. This is, if Iā€™m being honest, still a complete dream to me.

"So many emotions went through me, especially in 2018 and 2022, and I find it difficult to put these experiences into words.

"I lived my life in hope that I would get to experience moments like those and, when they did come, I lived them with immense pride. These memories will remain in my heart forever."