Marouane Fellaini Retires at 36: When Jose Mourinho Praised Ex Man Utd Star

Marouane Fellaini Retires at 36: When Jose Mourinho Praised Ex Man Utd Star

Elijah Odetokun
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
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  • Marouane Fellaini has announced his retirement from professional football at 36
  • He played in the Premier League for 11 years at Egerton and Manchester United
  • He was one of Jose Mourinho’s beloved players during their time at Old Trafford

Former Manchester United midfielder and one of Jose Mourinho's beloved players, Marouane Fellaini, has announced his retirement from professional football at 36.

Fellaini had an eighteen-year career and played for four clubs, including Standard Liege in his home country, Everton, United and retired at Shandong Taishan in China.

Marouane Fellaini, Jose Mourinho, Manchester United, Young Boys, UEFA Champions League.
Marouane Fellaini and Jose Mourinho celebrate a goal during their time at Manchester United. Photo by Oli Scarff/AFP.
Source: Getty Images

He was best remembered for his time at Everton, where he played under David Moyes and was a thorn in the flesh of big clubs, including Chelsea and United.

He left United in 2019, a few months after Mourinho was sacked, where he spent five years, last playing in November before calling it quits on his career.

What Mourinho said about Fellaini

Fellaini, whose parents are Moroccan, was one of Mourinho's favourite players. After initially struggling to settle in Manchester, he blossomed into life under the Special One.

Per The Guardian, the Portuguese manager labelled the Belgian a fighter after turning around his United career.

“I think only a strong character could resist the difficulties here,” he said.
“He had some difficult times when people didn’t recognise his qualities when other managers didn’t like so much the qualities he has. “He is a fighter, a guy with lots of pride, and I am really pleased I helped him reach this level and change the perception the fans have now.”

The 36-year-old announced his retirement on his Instagram page and is already receiving tributes across the football world.

“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!” reads part of his statement.

The Special One sent a heartfelt message to his former player on Instagram, calling him one of his own.

Fellaini questioned Mourinho’s sacking

Sports Brief previously reported on Fellaini questioning United for sacking Mourinho when the former Chelsea boss was relieved of his duties after losing 3-1 to Liverpool in December 2018.

The versatile midfielder claimed the club let go of one of the best managers in the world without allowing him the time to build his team. He also questioned the choice of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as his replacement.

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Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.
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