Belgian football stalwart Marouane Fellaini has decided to hang up his boots at the age of 36, marking the end of an illustrious career that traversed the English Premier League, Chinese football, and the international stage. The towering midfielder, recognized for his distinctive afro hairstyle and towering 1.94 meters frame, leaves behind a legacy shaped by his impactful performances for Everton and Manchester United.
Fellaini made the announcement on his Instagram account, reflecting on an “incredible adventure” spanning 18 seasons. The midfielder expressed gratitude for playing the sport he loves at the highest level, accompanied by a video showcasing memorable moments of his career, including some of his noteworthy goals.
The Belgian, of Moroccan descent, began his professional journey with Standard Liège in 2006, securing a league title in the 2007-2008 season. His impactful debut season set the stage for an extraordinary career that saw him play a pivotal role in the Premier League for Everton and Manchester United.
Notably, Fellaini spent five full seasons with Everton, showcasing his versatility and powerful header abilities. His contributions caught the attention of Manchester United, where he went on to spend six seasons. At Old Trafford, Fellaini’s trophy cabinet expanded with a Europa League (2017), an English Cup (2017), a League Cup (2016), and an English Super Cup (2017).
After his successful stint in the English league, Fellaini embarked on a new challenge in China, playing for Shandong Taishan from 2019 until his contract concluded in November of the last year. Despite being without a team since then, Fellaini’s impact and influence in the footballing world remain undiminished.
On the international stage, Fellaini was a key part of one of the most exceptional generations in Belgian football history. He participated in two World Cups (2014 and 2018), a European Championship (2016), and the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008. In the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Fellaini played a crucial role as Belgium secured a third-place finish, the nation’s best-ever result in the tournament.
Fellaini’s farewell message expressed gratitude to fans, family, teammates, and coaches who played significant roles throughout his career. He reminisced about pivotal moments, from his first game as a child to winning the league title with Standard Liège, highlighting the swift passage of time.
As Fellaini closes the chapter on his playing career, he assured fans that he would continue to support the beautiful sport in various capacities. Since July, Fellaini has been an investor in Francis Borains, a club in the Belgian second division where he honed his skills during his formative years from 2000 to 2002.