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Next
 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 19, 2006

Bosnia's all-time top scorer Bolic decides to quit

SARAJEVO, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Bosnia's all-time leading scorer Elvir Bolic said he is almost certain to quit playing after parting company with Croatian club Rijek.

'Never say never but I've made up my mind 90 percent,' the 34-year-old was quoted as saying by Sarajevo's leading daily Dnevni Avaz on Tuesday.

Bolic was released from his contract with Rijeka on Monday together with captain Danijel Saric after they left the stadium immediately after being substituted at half-time by coach Dragan Skocic during Sunday's match with visitors Osijek leading 2-0. Rijeka came back without them in the second half to draw 2-2.

Bolic joined Rijeka from Istanbulspor in Turkey in the close season and made a good start with the club scoring four times this season.

Bolic said Rijeka's decision had helped him make up his mind about the future.

'It's been going on for weeks, I could not stand it psychologically any more. I have no more reasons or motivation to play, financially or otherwise,' he said.

'Beside, my wife is about to give birth and I was supposed to stay in Rijeka while she went to Istanbul. I don't know how I would have played in that situation,' he said.

Bolic scored 24 goals in 50 matches for Bosnia who have yet to qualify for the finals of a major tournament since they were admitted to FIFA in 1996.

Despite being a huge favourite with Bosnian fans, he admitted he had lost his motivation to play for the national side in the Euro 2008 qualifiers.

'The qualification cycle is too long, it's not one game. And there is also a question of how much I can contribute to the national team.'

Bosnia coach Blaz Sliskovic had planned to use him as a second-string striker in the series, but Bolic said: 'I thought I could do more for the national team but I see now it did not go as I thought it would. That's another reason why I think it's time to quit,' he said.

Bolic started with hometown club Celik Zenica and Red Star Belgrade snapped him as one of the most talented players in the former Yugoslavia but he left the-then European champions without playing a game after war broke out in Bosnia in 1992.

He went on to play for Galatasaray and Gaziantepspor before joining Fenerbahce in 1995 where he scored 70 goals in five years, wining one Turkish title.

His most memorable goal was the October 1996 strike at Old Trafford that ended Manchester United's 40-year unbeaten run in Europe.

He also played for Genclerbirligi and Malatyaspor in Turkey and spent three years with Rayo Vallecano in Spain.