Marouane Fellaini (36) ends his football career: “It has been an incredible journey” | Marouane Fellaini retires

Marouane Fellaini (36) ends his football career: “It has been an incredible journey” | Marouane Fellaini retires
Marouane Fellaini (36) ends his football career: “It has been an incredible journey” | Marouane Fellaini retires

Fellaini started his professional career at Standard, after which he made a record transfer to Everton with a national title in his pocket. With 21.8 million euros, he was for a while 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.

Our compatriot settled in China in February 2019. He played 141 games for Shandong Taishan, in which the midfielder scored 50 times and provided 12 assists. He became Chinese national champion once and won the cup twice.

In November, Choi Kang-hee, the coach of Shandong Taishan, suddenly announced Fellaini’s retirement as a professional footballer. But both Fellaini and his agent Karim Mejati debunked this at the time. “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 would return to Belgium.

A door that Fellaini himself did not want to close a month ago. “I don’t close any doors. We’ll see what offers come up. But at the moment it’s honestly not on my mind.”

With 87 international matches, Fellaini also belonged to the ‘Golden Generation’ of Red Devils. He played at the 2014 and 2018 World Cups. At his last World Cup, in Russia, Fellaini scored the 2-2 equalizer in the iconic round of 16 against Japan. The Walloon midfielder also played during the 2016 European Championship. He already said goodbye to the national team in 2019.

“After an 18-year career, I am retiring from football,” Fellaini wrote. “But everything started much longer than 18 years ago. Like it was yesterday, I remember my first match as a child, the endless training sessions with my father, my first selection for Standard, my first selection for the Belgian national team. Time flies!”

“What an incredible journey it has been. I am so grateful that I was able to play the sport I love at the highest level. I am proud to have represented Standard, Everton, Manchester United and Shandong Taishan. It was an honor to play for the Belgian national team. With the 2008 Olympic Games, the 2016 European Championships and the 2014 and 2018 World Cups.”

“I have played in front of the best fans in the world and would like to take this moment to thank them all for their continued support throughout my career. Your encouragement and passion have been a constant source of inspiration for me.”

“All of this would have been impossible without my family, teammates, coaches, advisors and everyone who was part of my journey. Your love, guidance, support and friendship were invaluable. Thank you! I am starting a new chapter in my life and look forward to new challenges. But rest assured that I will continue to support this wonderful sport in any way I can. See you soon!”

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