Belgian footballer Toby Alderweireld, 34, announced his international retirement on Monday. In a statement issued by the Belgian Football Union (URBSFA), CEO Peter Bossaert hailed “a role model for young players and a true professional.”
“Toby will be sorely missed,” Bossaert said. “He still had his place in the national team. Toby is a role model for young players and a true professional. We would have liked to benefit from his qualities and experience, but after his long career we understand his decision to spend more time with his family. We wish him all the best for the rest of his playing career and fervently hope that at the end of it he can one day take up a role in the URBSFA!”
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On Monday, Alderweireld tweeted a heartfelt video announcing his retirement to his fans. He had dreamt of playing for Belgium's national team since he was a little boy and is grateful to have been able to make that dream a reality. He always wanted give "everything of myself both physically and mentally since my international debut in 2009."
Bedankt allemaal - Merci à tous - Thank you all. 🖤💛❤️ pic.twitter.com/BsVTWjvcYZ— Toby Alderweireld (@AlderweireldTob) March 6, 2023
Alderweireld leaves the Red Devils after 127 appearances and 5 goals. A member of the “Golden Generation”, he played in three World Cups, in 2014, 2018 and 2022, and two Euros, in 2016 and 2020.
He was part of the best result in the history of the national team, the third place finish at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.