Former Tottenham star announces international retirement following Euro 2024 exit

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Former Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen has announced his retirement from international football following Belgium’s exit from Euro 2024. 

The 37-year-old — who has played his club football for Benfica and, now, Anderlecht since leaving Spurs in 2020 — didn’t feature in the Red Devils’ opening group game against Slovakia, which ended in a disappointing 1-0 defeat.

But Vertonghen was restored to the line-up thereafter and played the full 90 minutes in Belgium’s next three games as they beat Romania 2-0 and drew 0-0 with Ukraine to close out the groups, before exiting Euro 2024 in the last 16 with a 1-0 defeat to France.

Following that defeat, Vertonghen has called time on an international career that has spanned 17 years and 157 caps, with the highlight being is role in helping Belgium finish third at the 2018 World Cup.

“Thanks for all the memories, I lived my dream!” Vertonghen posted on his Instagram account.


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A post shared by Jan Vertonghen (@jvertonghen)

Belgium say goodbye to ‘true Red Devil’

Jan Vertonghen of Belgium during the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between Belgium and Romania at Cologne Stadium on June 22, 2024 in Cologne, Germany.

Even at this late stage of his career, Vertonghen will be a hard figure for Belgium to replace, especially with so many of their ‘Golden Generation’ that tasted success in 2018 no longer around.

A new crop of talents must be found by Belgium, who will build their future around the likes of Jeremy Doku, Amadou Onana and Lois Openda.

“From the training ground to the pitch, you’ve shown us what it means to be a true Red Devil,” the Belgian FA posted on social media. “We’ll miss you, Jan!

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