Former Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic has been forced to bring the curtain down on a glittering career, aged 35, after the Croatian announced his retirement from playing after a spell with NK Lokomotiva in his homeland.

Jelavic, who also had stints with Everton, West Ham and Hull City as well as Hadjuk Split, Zulte Waregem, Rapid Vienna, Beijing Renhe and Guizhou FC, was forced to call it quits over a knee injury

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Jelavic celebrates scoring against Hibs (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The former Croatian international was a massive favourite of Gers fans, scoring 36 times in 56 appearances, and remained hugely popular long after his exit in 2012 as the club’s financial issues came to the fore.

A statement from Lokomotiva confirmed the striker’s retirement as they hailed a fantastic career that also saw him represent his country 36 time, saying: “At the age of 35, Nikica Jelavić is ending his professional career!

 

“Although Nikica is full of motivation and eager to play, unfortunately his health condition, specifically the knee situation, does not allow him to continue his career.

“Nikica acted as correctly as possible towards the club, where he concluded in open and honest communication that the best and fairest option is to end his football career, and Nikica showed his sporting and human greatness with this procedure as well!

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Nikicia Jelavic and Steven Naismith of Rangers lift the Co-operative Insurance Cup after beating Celtic in the final(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

“We are very honoured that the former nine of the Croatian national team, former player of Glasgow, Rapid West Ham, Hull, Everton, is finishing his professional career at Lokomotiva Zagreb! Nikica rest, you deserve it!”

Another former Rangers striker received rave reviews over the weekend for an all-action display in his first start for his new club following a surprise return to Scottish football.

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