Jan Vertonghen will no longer play for the Belgian national team

International Jan Vertonghen, 37, Belgian record holder with 157 caps and 10 goals to his name, announced on Instagram on Friday that he is retiring from international football.

Holding the record for the number of caps (157) with Belgium, Jan Vertonghen announced on Instagram on Friday that he is retiring from international football.

He scored ten goals, provided six assists, and received 18 yellow cards but no red cards in the Belgian shirt.

The 37-year-old defender leaves the Red Devils after a Euro 2024 where Belgium was eliminated in the round of 16 by France on Monday (1-0) in Düsseldorf.

Vertonghen scored the only goal of the match in the 85th minute from an own goal.

Vertonghen posted photos of his first and last caps with the message “first, last. Thank you for all the memories, I lived my dream!”.

The defender who has played for Ajax, Tottenham, Benfica and Anderlecht made his first cap for the Red Devils on 2 June 2007 in a Euro 2008 qualifier lost 1-2 to Portugal at the King Baudouin Stadium.

He has since reached the Belgian record of 157 caps and has played in six major international tournaments with Belgium: quarter-finalist in Brazil in 2014 and at Euro 2016 in France, third at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, only eliminated by France, 0-1, in the semi-final.

Will he also retire at Anderlecht?

Vertonghen also played at Euro 2020, where Belgium lost to eventual winners Italy, 1-2, in the quarter-final in Munich, and experienced elimination in the first round of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

At Euro 2024 in Germany, the centre-back, injured at the start of the tournament, missed the first Group E match against Slovakia (0-1) on 17 June in Frankfurt, and then started the next three.

It remains to be seen what he will decide about the future of his club career, with his contract at Anderlecht, where he was captain last season, having expired on 1 July.

Written by James Oyimb

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