Marouane Fellaini decided to hang up his football boots at the age of 36. The former Belgian international was out of contract after a five-year stint in China’s Shandong…
Fellaini ended a five-year spell at Shandong Taishan in November and there was talk in China that he would retire, but this was denied by his agent: “A lot of clubs are interested in him. From the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia or Turkey. He will definitely continue to play,” stated before the end of last year by Karim Mejati.
In the end, however, the lanky midfielder will not be looking for a new job. “After 18 years I am about to end my football career,” wrote Fellaini on Instagram. “But everything started much earlier than eighteen years ago. It’s like yesterday that I remember my first game as a child, the endless training sessions with my father, my first start for Standard Liège, my first nomination for the Belgian national team. Time flies,” the Etterbeek native looked back on his rich career.
Fellaini made his way into the first team of Standard Liège in the 2006/07 season, then after a successful engagement at Everton, he got to Manchester United. Since 2019, he has been working in Shandong Taishan, where he followed up two championships from his parent club with a championship title.
The almost two-meter midfielder was a member of the golden generation of the Belgian national team, for which he played 87 international matches with a score of 18 goals. He played at the 2014 and 2018 World Championships, where he took third place with the “Red Devils”, and was also present at the 2016 European Championship.
But as Fellaini indicated, he could continue in football in a different role. “I am starting a new chapter in my life and I am looking forward to the next challenges. But rest assured that I will continue to support this beautiful sport in every way I can. See you soon!” he wrote in a farewell statement.