“Unbelievable bombshell: Witsel brings 15-year reign as Belgium international to a shocking conclusion!”
Belgian midfielder, Axel Witsel, has announced on social media that he will be retiring from international football after 15 years of play and 130 caps with the Red Devils. The decision has been made with “great emotion” after “careful consideration”. This news follows the retirements of thirtysomethings Eden Hazard, Toby Alderweireld, and Simon Mignolet from national play. Only Jan Vertonghen has played more games for Belgium than Witsel, with 147 caps. In March of this year, Witsel was not included in the squad to face Sweden, and ten players were discarded from the squad that competed in the group phase at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, indicating a rejuvenation of the squad under new coach Domenico Tedesco. On Twitter, Witsel wished the new generation good luck while focusing on his club and more time with his family. Witsel made his debut for the Belgium national team in March 2008 and played in the 2014, 2018, and 2022 World Cups, as well as the 2016 and 2020 Euros. He played for Borussia Dortmund before joining Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2022.