Former Manchester United star Marouane Fellaini is retiring from football aged 35.
Fellaini joined United in 2013 and was the first signing of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
He left for the Chinese Superleague in 2019 and has enjoyed five years there, but as confirmed by his current manager Choi Kang-hee at Shandong Taishan, he has decided to hang up his boots.
“Though with some regret, I respect his decision to retire,” Choi said in a press conference (via The Sun).
“Maybe due to his age, his every post-game recovery was rather painstaking, which usually took one day or two.”
Shandong’s season finale is today and according to The Sun, “Shandong will hold a ceremony following the match on Saturday to pay tribute to Fellaini.”
The big Belgian played 177 matches for United, scoring 22 goals and providing 12 assists.
Stoppage-time winners against Arsenal and Juventus in 2018 were among the highlights of his Old Trafford career.
He was also instrumental in the 2016 FA Cup final win, getting an assist for United’s first goal.
David Moyes made Fellaini his first signing at United, bringing him from Everton on deadline day after failing to land his top target, Cesc Fabregas.
He was also former executive vice chairman Ed Woodward’s first negotiation, which became a source of ridicule and, more darkly, a sign of the incompetence that was to lie ahead and still persists to this day at Old Trafford.
Fellaini had a buy-out clause in his contract at Everton of £23.5 million which had expired just days earlier and United ended up paying £27.5 million.
It is fair to say he was not United’s most popular signing but in his six years at Old Trafford he won many admirers with his commitment, doggedness and professional attitude.
Moyes was always a huge fan, even famously praising him for being “the best in the world with controlling with his chest.”
The Peoples Person wishes Marouane all the best in his football retirement.