Former Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has announced his retirement from international football after serving the Belgium national team in international duty for 12 years. He was part of the international Red Devils’ squad which secured an all time national high third place in last year’s World Cup.
Following his exit from a five and a half year stay at Manchester United, the former Everton star joined Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng in January earlier this year.
Fellaini made it to the senior first team back in 2007, and has since then made 87 appearances for the international side. The 31-year old midfielder’s last international goal came in the the World Cup’s round of 16 in a 3-2 win against Japan. The strike was Fellaini’s 18th and final for the Belgian national team.
In an emotional tweet Fellaini announced his decision to stop participating in international outings. He said:
“It has not been an easy decision for me and not one I take lightly however I feel that the time is right for me to step down and allow the next generation of Belgian players to continue this very successful period in Belgian football history.
“I have many amazing memories with the Red Devils from my debut in 2007 to last year’s World Cup in Russia and I am very proud Belgium is currently No 1 in FIFA’s world rankings.
“I want to thank all those who have been part of my international career especially my team-mates, many of whom will be friends for life and all the coaches I have worked with.
“I would like to also thanks all the Belgian fans who have traveled the world to support us. I wish the manager and the squad every success for the upcoming European Qualifiers. Thank you Belgium.”
Belgium play Russia and Cyprus later on this month in the 2020 Euro qualifiers.
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