World Cup flop last trick for Alderweireld, who quits as Red Devil

World Cup flop last trick for Alderweireld, who quits as Red Devil
Toby Alderweireld at the last World Cup after the 0-0 against Croatia, making it over and out for Belgium

NOS Soccer

Toby Alderweireld is quitting as a player of Belgium’s national team. The 127-time international, who made his debut in professional soccer with Ajax in early 2009, let it be known via social media. The defender, who celebrated his 34th birthday last week, wants to focus fully on his current club Royal Antwerp.

Alderweireld belonged to Belgium’s so-called “Golden Generation. He made his debut for Belgium in May 2009 and played in five major tournaments, the 2016 and 2020 European Championships (due to corona played in 2021) and the World Cups in 2014, 2018 and 2022. Best performance was third place in Russia in 2018.

Alderweireld (left) as an Ajacied in duel with Mario Götze (then Borussia Dortmund) in 2012

Alderweireld never won a title with his “golden” contemporaries. At his, as it now appears, last tournament, the World Cup late last year in Qatar, he experienced his most disappointing result. Belgium finished third in a group with Croatia, Morocco and Canada and therefore got stuck in the group stage.

Generation-mate Eden Hazard (32) also already quit the Red Devils. The only two players who have played more international games than Alderweireld, fellow former Ajacied Jan Vertonghen (35 years old and 145 international games) and Axel Witzel (34 years old and 130 international games), remain available for the time being for new national coach Domenico Tedesco.

Kayleigh Williams