Former Manchester United and Everton midfielder, Marouane Fellaini, has announced his retirement from playing football.
The 36-year-old Belgian, concluding a four-year tenure with Chinese club, Shandong Taishan, made the announcement on his Instagram account on Saturday, bringing an end to his 18-year playing career.
He wrote, “I am writing this post to announce that after a career of 18 years, I am retiring from professional football.
“But it all started long before these 18 years. I remember, like the day of yesterday, my first game as a child, the endless training sessions with my dad, my first selection for Standard de Liege, and my first selection for the Belgian national team. Time flies!
“What an incredible journey it has been! I am so grateful to have played the sport I love at the highest level. I am proud to have represented Standard in Belgium, Everton and Manchester United in the UK, and Shandong Taishan in China. It was an honor to have played for the Belgian national team at the Olympics of 2008, Euro 2016 and the World Cups of 2014 and 2018.
“I have played in front of the best fans in the world, and I want to take this moment to thank all of them for their unwavering 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, advisers and everyone who has been a part of my journey. Your love, guidance, support, and friendship have been invaluable. Thank you!
“As I embark on this new chapter in my life, I look forward to new challenges, but be assured, I will continue to support the beautiful game in any way I can. See you soon!”
Fellaini, who earned 87 caps for the Belgium national team, spent a total of 12 years in the Premier League—six with Everton and six with Manchester United—having transferred from Merseyside to Old Trafford in 2013.
While with Manchester United, Fellaini secured victories in between the FA Cup and Europa League. Additionally, he helped Belgium finish in third place at the 2018 World Cup.