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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 15 July, 2020

Fellaini calls time on international career to 'allow next generation continue success'

After 87 caps and 18 goals, the former Man United midfielder has called time on his Belgium career.

Former Belgium international Marouane Fellaini.
Former Belgium international Marouane Fellaini.

FORMER MANCHESTER UNITED midfielder Marouane Fellaini has announced his international retirement from Belgium.

Fellaini – who completed a move to Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng last month – called an end to his Belgium career via Twitter on Thursday.

The 31-year-old was part of Belgium’s run to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia, where Roberto Martinez’s side finished third last year.

Fellaini earned 87 caps and scored 18 goals following his international debut in February 2007.

“After twelve years of representing Belgium at the highest level, I have decided to retire from senior international football,” Fellaini wrote in a statement via Twitter.

“It has not been an easy decision for me and not one I take lightly however I feel the time is right for me to step down and allow the next generation of Belgian to continue this very successful period in Belgian football history.

“It has been an honour to represent my country 87 times and to be part of two World Cups and a European Championship campaign for Belgium.

“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 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 also like to thank all the Belgian fans who have travelled the world to support us.

“I wish the manager and the squad every success for the upcoming European Qualifiers. Thank you Belgium.”

Belgium are set to open their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign at home to Russia (March 21) and away against Cyprus (March 24).

Andy Dunne joins Murray Kinsella and Ryan Bailey to discuss Joe Schmidt’s undroppables and how France might attack Ireland’s predictability in The42 Rugby Weekly.

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