Former Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has announced his retirement from international football, after collecting 87 caps for Belgium.
The midfielder, who left United in January for Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng, made his debut for his country against the Czech Republic in February 2007, with his final appearance coming against France in last summer's World Cup semi final.
In an emotional statement on his official Instagram account, the 31-year-old revealed: "After twelve years of representing Belgium at the highest level, I have decided to retire from senior international football.
"It has not been an easy decision for me and not one I take lightly, however I feel that the time is right for me to step down and allow the next generation of Belgian players to continue this very successful period in Belgian football history."
Fellaini continued: "It has been an honour to represent my country 87 times and to be a 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 currently No 1 in FIFA’s world rankings.
"I have no understanding whatsoever for the suggested finality of the decision. Mats, Jerome, and I are still capable of playing football on the highest level."— 90min (@90min_Football) March 7, 2019
We don't know either Thomas. 路♂️ https://t.co/d9wmXvMU70
"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 like to also 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."
News of this amicable parting comes as the international footballing world has been rocked by the enforced retirements of Germany legends Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng, each of whom have highlighted their surprise and frustration at the decision.
Source : 90min