Marouane Fellaini Jettisons International Career

By on March 8, 2019

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In an international career that spanned 12 years, Marouane Fellaini was a valued midfielder for Belgium, but this week the player has decided to quit the international scene. He recently moved to China, and the commute may have something to do with his decision. freetips.com takes up the story of Fellaini who now plays in the Chinese Super League for Shandong Luneng.

The 31-year-old international star was born in Belgium but from 2008 was based in the UK playing first for Everton and then Manchester United. When he signed for Everton he was a player in great demand, Manchester United had tried to get him then, and Aston Villa, Tottenham, Real Madrid an Bayern Munich were all sniffing around.

At the time the £15 million transfer fee was the most paid by Everton and the most paid for a player from Belgium, and he signed a five-year contract with the club. However, he nearly blew the whole thing when he was booked ten times over his first 17 matches and had to attend a hearing to decide his future. His behaviour on the pitch did improve, and he was a strong link in the team. During the 2012 season he was named in the Guardian’s “The 100 Best Footballers in the World” list at number 60, and then ironically received a three-match ban for a headbutt to Stoke player Ryan Shawcross.

His move to Manchester United came in 2013, initially on a four-year contract, but he remained with them until January 2019 after an extension under manager Jose Mourinho. He seemed to be in good standing with the boss and made an impact at times, however, his time at Old Trafford came to an end when the club sacked Mourinho in December. New caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did not seem to share Mourinho’s opinion, and for the first nine games, Fellaini remained benched, only playing briefly twice as a substitute. Six months before his contract was due to end he signed a new deal with Shandong Luneng, perhaps jumping before he was pushed. His first game in China was positive, and he was the winning goal scorer for his new team.

His international career began in 2007 and over 12 years he has 87 caps to his name. He was in the sides World Cup squad on two occasions including the 2018 tournament where the team finished in third place. He was also able to play for Morrocco and overall scored 18 goals as an international player. This week he announced his intention to leave international football and concentrate solely on his time in China saying “After 12 years of representing Belgium at the highest level, I have decided to retire from senior international football. I feel the time is right for me to step down and allow the next generation of players to continue this very successful period in Belgian football history,”

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