Veliche Shumulikoski retires

One of the most capped players in the history of the the Macedonian national football team decided to retire at the age of 37.

archived photo: Veliche playing for the national team

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Veliche Shumulikoski hung out his boots. The Struga born defensive midfielder will be remembered as one of the most constant and always present national team players. He debuted for the senior national team in a friendly match against Azerbaijan on neutral field in Bulgaria in July 2000 and since recorded 84 appearances until retiring from the national team in 2013.

The popular Shumi is the third most capped national team player behind Goce Sedloski (100 matches) and Goran Pandev (94). He was second for a while but was eventually overtaken by Pandev who is still active. He will remain third as of the current players the closes to him is Ivan Tichkovski with 50 caps.

Veliche scored only once for the national team. It was in the opening round of the qualifications match for the 2006 World Cup against Armenia when Macedonian celebrated a comfortable 3:0 win. He was often criticized for his performances in the national team by the fans ignoring the hard task he had by playing in the midfield in a period when Macedonia struggled with creativity. Despite being a defensively oriented midfielder, he often had to take a leading midfield role which led to making mistakes. However, he always gave he best when wearing the red shirt.

Despite being born in Macedonia, he spent his childhood in Slovenia where he started playing football in the youth academy of Publikum from the town of Celje. It was there that he got noticed by Macedonia and summoned in the U21 national team. In 202 he moved to Slovakia to play for the team of Synot where later would come back to end his career (the club would later rename to Slovácko). Russian Zenit, Turkish Bursaspor and Championship sides Ipswich Town and Preston North End followed to reach the top of his career. Than he moved back to Russia to play for Sibir followed by a Chinese adventure at Tiānjīn TEDA. In 2013 he came back to Slovácko where he was later awarded the captain’s armband.

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