After 130 selections, Axel Witsel announces his end with the Red Devils.
Belgian defensive midfielder from Atletico Madrid Axel Witsel announced his international retirement on Friday, after fifteen years and 130 caps with the Red Devils.
“After careful consideration, it is with great emotion that I made the decision to retire from international football.“, announced on social networks the 34-year-old player.
After Eden Hazard, Toby Alderweireld or N.2 goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, it’s another Thirty-something Red Devil who decides to hang up.
Axel Witsel, selected in the team 130 times since 2008, only beaten by Jan Vertonghen (147), was not retained at the end of March by the new coach Domenico Tedesco to face Sweden, in the first qualifying match for the Euro-2024.
Tedesco had shown a strong desire to renew the troops by dismissing to prepare for this meeting in Stockholm ten of the 26 players present during the failed World Cup in Qatar (elimination in the first round). On Friday, on Twitter, Witsel wished “good luck to the next generationof the Devils.
“It is important for me to devote more time to my family and to focus on my club“, he also noted.
The French-speaking Belgian, who began his professional career at Standard de Liège, took part in three World Cups (2014, 2018 and 2022) and two Euros (2016 and 2020), taking part in the best result in the history of the Belgium in a World Cup, with third place in Russia in 2018.
He joined Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2022 from German club Dortmund.