Former Belgium international Marouane Fellaini (36-Shandong Taishan) has announced his intention to end his active career, which has spanned three decades, including youth football.
Marouane Fellaini has been left off the roster for the final home game of the 2023 Chinese Professional Football Super League. Shandong Taishan coach Choi Kang-hee, 64, said: “He is old and needs one or two days to recover from fatigue after playing. It’s a shame because he’s a great player, but we want to respect his decision to retire.”
Embroiled in the bankruptcy crisis of Hengda, the world’s largest real estate company, Chinese professional soccer fell from the top of the Asian League rankings in 2022 to seventh in the 2023-24 season. Marouane Fellaini, who won five consecutive Arab-Belgian player of the year awards from 2016-2020, is the last remaining pride of the Super League.굿모닝토토 도메인
Marouane Fellaini has 50 goals and 12 assists in 140 games, including cup competitions, for Shandong Taishan since joining from Manchester United (England) in 2019 for a transfer fee of €7.2 million.
It is commendable that he has scored goals and assists in four different positions, switching between defensive/central midfield, center forward, and attacking midfield depending on team tactics and game situations.
He has worn the captain’s armband since October 2020 and has been recognized for his stature, presence, and leadership as a Shandong Taishan signature star in the Chinese professional football despite the huge difference in nationality and race. Choi has helped lead the team from 14th place to second place in the Super League this season.
“The fact that Marouane Fellaini is our captain is a universal truth that will never end, is timeless, and will never change,” the Shandong Taishan home fans said. We salute him, applaud him, and cheer him on.” They gave him a parting shot.
Marouane Fellaini looks on during his debut for Shandong Taishan in their Chinese Professional Football Super League home match against Beijing Chengfeng. Fellaini, who joined from Manchester United, scored the winning goal. Photo: AFPBBNews=News1
Marouane Fellaini is still a force to be reckoned with in the Chinese Super League, ranking eighth in scoring (seventh excluding penalties) with 11 goals and two assists in 26 games in the 2023 season. The same goes for his 0.59 offensive points per 90 minutes.
In the 2023-24 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League Round of 40, Group G, he also scored a goal in three consecutive matches, playing full-time as captain and center-forward in games 2-4. However, Marouane Fellaini has informed Shandong Taishan that he will only play one more year and then leave.
If he decides to retire, the AFC Champions League Group G match against Kayilao (Philippines) on November 28 at home and the AFC Champions League Group G match against Yokohama F.Marinos (Japan) on December 12 away will be his last appearances for Shandong Taishan.