Axel Witsel, The 34-year-old Atletico Madrid midfielder announced on social media that he was retiring from international football. “After careful consideration, it is with great emotion that I have taken the decision to retire from international football,” the player wrote.
Witsel, Eden Hazard, Toby Alderweireld, and Simon Mignolet all decided to retire from international football. They gave up their national jerseys.
With 147 caps, only Jan Vertonghen has appeared in more games for Belgium than Witsel.
Domenico Tedesco, the new manager, left the defensive midfielder off the roster. This happened during the first match of the Euro 2024 qualifiers against Sweden in March.
Tedesco removed ten players from the team to revitalize the group after they were ousted in Qatar 2022. He desired a change.
Witsel thanked everyone who had helped him to “blossom” in the national squad on Friday and tweeted “good luck to the new generation.”
I need to prioritize my club and spend more time with my family, he remarked.
Witsel, a Belgian who speaks French and began his professional career at Standard Liege, scored his first goal for Belgium in March 2008.He participated in the 2016 and 2020 Euros as well as the World Cups in 2014, 2018, and 2022. He was a member of the squad that finished third in Russia in 2018, giving Belgium their best World Cup finish.
In the summer of 2022, he transferred from Borussia Dortmund to Atletico Madrid.