Former Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has retired from football at the age of 36.
The Belgian midfielder joined United in 2013 under David Moyes for £27.5million under nightmare circumstances in a tumultuous first summer in the post-Ferguson era. He would go on to make 177 appearances in United colours, contributing to United’s silverware success which included winning the Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup.
Most notably, Fellaini would score decisive goals in the semi finals of those competitions in the years that United won those cups. His goals against Everton (FA Cup), Hull City (League Cup and Celta Vigo (Europa League) would help the Red Devils on their way to securing their first pieces of silverware after Sir Alex Ferguson’s successes.
Fellaini left United in 2019 to join Shandong in China, and this would be his last club before deciding to hang up his boots at the professional level in early 2024. The midfielder took to Instagram to announce the decision:
"“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.”"
The Belgian enjoyed the most success under manager José Mourinho, who also took to Instagram to offer his best wishes to the player:
"“I don’t forget who gave me everything he could give. You were and will always be one of mine. Congratulations on your career and rest those ankles that suffered a lot.”"- Jose Mourinho on Fellaini
Often a Plan B to United late in games, Fellaini was effective when called upon in those situations that really required the game to grabbed by the stuff of the neck. Perhaps that was why he gelled so well with Mourinho. The tenacity and ferociousness he brought to the pitch was highly commendable, which made him beloved during his latter times as a United player once the emotions of being a Moyes signing was removed from his tag.