Neven Subotic puts international career on hold

Borussia Dortmund defender Neven Subotic takes a sabbatical from international football.

Borussia Dortmund defender Neven Subotic has placed his international career on hold following Serbia's 1-1 draw with Croatia.

The stalemate ended the national team's chances of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, and Subotic has requested to be left out of this year's remaining fixtures.

"I told [Serbia] coach [Sinisa] Mihajlovic that I will not be available for the remaining matches in 2013 because I want to step up individual work at my club with the objective of improving my performances," he said in a statement.

"Having spoken to my club coach, Juergen Klopp, I asked Mihajlovic for his support and understanding. I'd be delighted to return next year and be part of the Serbia team aiming to qualify for Euro 2016."

Mihajlovic, who is under fire from fans and media outlets in Serbia following the team's World Cup exit, said that he was surprised by Subotic's decision.

"There was no conflict between us and I don't know what the problem is, although he did say that he wants to focus on his club career," he told reporters.

"There were no indications this might happen. The next qualifying campaign is another story and we will see what the future brings."

Subotic has scored two goals in 36 appearances for his country.

Serbia coach Sinisa Mihajlovic on the touchline on October 16, 2012
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