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Chicago Fire DP Nemanja Nikolic announces he's leaving team

Bastian Schweinsteiger has called it a career, and ESPN FC's Julien Laurens assesses where the midfielder ranks among the game's modern greats.

Chicago Fire star Nemanja Nikolic said Saturday that he is leaving the team after three seasons.

Nikolic made the announcement on his Facebook page. He is the second-leading goal scorer (51) in franchise history and played in 96 games for the club.

The 31-year-old Serbian didn't reveal his future plans with his statement focusing on his farewell and being a synopsis of his time in Chicago.

"When a period of time is intense, if you concentrate and perform on daily basis, time passes by quickly," Nikolic wrote. "It was a massive three years for me and my family. When I look at the memories I had in Chicago, I realize the huge amount of action that happened to me in the U.S. It was a big jump. We went far from home. ...

"People were skeptical about the adventure, but the unknown challenge motivated me and, luckily, I proved quickly that my decision was right."

Nikolic earned MLS All-Star honors and set a franchise-record with 24 goals in his first season in 2017. He tallied 15 goals the following season and had 12 this past season.

Ante Razov with 76 goals is the only player in Fire history with more tallies.

Nikolic represents the second big loss for the Fire. German standout Bastian Schweinsteiger announced his retirement earlier this week.

Schweinsteiger, a midfielder, tallied eight goals and 15 assists in 85 games over three seasons with Chicago, and was named an All-Star twice.

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