Belgium's Jan Vertonghen retires from international football following Euro 2024 exit

Jan Vertonghen has retired from international football following Belgium’s exit at the European Championship.

Vertonghen played 90 minutes as Belgium suffered defeat against France in their last-16 game on Monday, deflecting Randal Kolo Muani’s shot into his own net in the 1-0 loss.

The 37-year-old did not feature in Belgium’s opening Euro 2024 game as they lost 1-0 against Slovakia but was restored by head coach Domenico Tedesco for their following group games as they beat Romania 2-0 and then drew 0-0 with Ukraine.

“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!”

Vertonghen made his Belgium debut in 2007 and played 157 times for his country, scoring 10 goals, making him the nation’s record appearance holder.

The defender has played for Anderlecht in his homeland since leaving Benfica in 2022. He previously spent eight years at Tottenham Hotspur after joining from Ajax in 2012, making 315 appearances for the Premier League side and helping them reach the Champions League final in 2019.

Vertonghen’s international team-mate Kevin De Bruyne, meanwhile, said that it was too soon to make a decision on his Belgium future immediately following Monday’s defeat by France.

“It’s too early to answer,” De Bruyne said when asked if he would continue to play for Belgium. “Let me process this loss. It’s a been a very long season, I need to rest my body. I will make my decision after the summer.”

(Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

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