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Belgium's Fellaini announces international retirement

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Belgium's Fellaini announces international retirement
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester City v Manchester United - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - November 11, 2018 Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini in action. Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff   -   Copyright  JASON CAIRNDUFF(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Belgium midfielder Marouane Fellaini announced his retirement from international soccer on Friday, ending a 12-year career with the national team.

The 31-year-old scored 18 goals in 87 appearances for Belgium and represented them at two World Cups, helping them finish third in Russia last year.

“After 12 years of representing Belgium at the highest level, I have decided to retire from senior international football,” Fellaini said in a statement on Twitter.

“I feel the time is right for me to step down and allow the next generation of players to continue this very successful period in Belgian football history.

“I have many amazing memories… and I am very proud Belgium is currently number one in the FIFA rankings.”

Fellaini joined Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng in February, ending a five-and-a-half year spell at Premier League side Manchester United. He scored the winning goal on his CSL debut against Beijing Renhe this month.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ian Ransom)

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