Thursday, June 19, 2014

Red Devil mini-bio: Marouane Fellaini

Marouane Fellaini. (Source)

Midfielder Marouane Fellaini was born in Etterbeek, Brussels in 1987. He began his youth career at Anderlecht at the age of 7. At the age of 17, he signed his first permanent contract with Standard Liège. He currently plays for Manchester United.

Both of Fellaini's parents are Morroccan. He was eligible to play for either Belgium or Morocco but chose to represent Belgium. He has played for the Belgian national (senior) team since 2007.

Fellaini is known for his heading ability, which allowed him to create the turning point of Belgium's first match at the 2014 World Cup against Algeria. After a lackluster 1st half that saw Algeria in a 1-0 lead after a penalty, Fellaini entered the game as a second-half substitute and scored an equalizing header in the 70th minute. Ten minutes later, Dries Mertens scored the 2-1 goal that secured three vital points for Belgium.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, if I remember well (my memory is a bit blurred as it's quite a while ago) Fellaini scored his first international goal for Belgium against... Morocco (in a friendly game lost 1-4, but even despite the score in the end, a lot of Moroccan fans did not exactly appreciate the fact that it was Fellaini who scored against them). A lot of Belgian internationals had similar hard choices to make (eg Nacer Chadli who played 1 friendly game for Morocco but eventually chose to play for Belgium, Divock Origi who was invited to play for Kenya but refused and now received his first call-ups for Belgium, Adnan Januzaj who had the choice between Belgium, Turkey, Albania, but after long doubting chose for Belgium -- he can still switch to Kosovo if they would ever get UEFA recognition and membership). I like it that we have such a "multicultural" team, Belgium is a very multicultural society and it's good that this reflects in the players on the football pitch. I know some people would rather play with only "true Belgians" (in their own words, I personally consider naturalised immigrants to be true Belgians too) but the days we would play with only Janssens, Peeters, De Smet, Dupont, ... are over and I do think it's great our national team is bringing Flemings, Walloons and Belgians of foreign roots together, united behind the team. And I think we can be proud of our multi-ethnic yet great generation of players that are wearing the national shirt now. And as for Fellaini specifically, he had a bad season in Manchester but virtually all Man United players had a bad season. I still consider Fellaini to be one of the better players in Europe at his position, and I'm sure he'll prove that in the coming seasons.