Shandong Taishan’s match against Henan was Marouane Fellaini’s last home match for the club, after he announced in September that he would leave after this season. Shandong Taishan won 5-1, but Fellaini himself did not play – he was suspended.
However, he was honored, as the club had announced in advance. “In recent years, Fellaini has stirred up the atmosphere during home matches with goals and victories, time and time again,” said a statement from the club. “Let us honor him and give him a big round of applause. He came as a superstar and he leaves as a legend.” A large tifo read: “Farewell, warrior.”
Choi Kang-hee, Fellaini’s coach at Shandong Taishan, went one step further in the run-up to the match. “Although I regret it, I respect his decision to retire. He’s a great player. Maybe his age is gradually taking a toll – he was in pain for a day or two after every match.”
His coach’s words were unmistakable – he clearly assumed that Fellaini would soon hang up his boots. But Fellaini himself was initially unable or unwilling to confirm this. In an interview with La Dernière Heure he now clears up all misunderstandings. “I want to enjoy myself for another year or two.”
Return to Belgium? I don’t close any doors. We’ll see what offers come up. But right now it’s honestly not on my mind.
Fellaini in La Dernière Heure
Karim Mejati, his broker, told our colleagues at VTM News on Saturday that Fellaini would not stop. “Marouane is free in January and many clubs are interested. The Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey… We’ll see in January, they are all possibilities. No matter what, he will still play football, he certainly won’t stop yet. This year he has recorded exceptional statistics in China, so: Fellaini is still in shape for one last adventure,” said Mejati, who ruled out that his client will return to Belgium. A door that Fellaini himself does not close. “I don’t close any doors. We’ll see what offers come up. But at the moment it’s honestly not on my mind.”
Fellaini and Shandong Taishan will play the Chinese Cup final on November 25. In the competition, the club is assured of second place with one match to go.
Our compatriot settled in China in February 2019 after transferring from Manchester United. He has made 139 appearances for Shandong Taishan so far, scoring 50 times and providing 12 assists. He became Chinese national champion once and won the cup twice. So a third could be added.
Fellaini started his professional career at Standard, after which he made a record transfer to Everton with two national titles under his belt. With 21.8 million euros, he was for a time the most expensive outgoing player ever in the Jupiler Pro League. The tall midfielder also made a dream transfer to Manchester United, but that passage was one with mixed success.
With 87 international matches, Fellaini also belonged to the ‘golden generation’ of the Red Devils. He played at the 2014 and 2018 World Cups and the 2016 European Championships. He already said goodbye to the national team in 2019.
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