Axel Witsel: Belgian international retires from football

Axel Witsel played for AC Milan, Benfica and Zenit St Petersburg

Frenchman Axel Witsel has retired from football after signing for Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian, but the former Belgium midfielder has revealed he is considering playing for another club.

Witsel played for Zenit St Petersburg, Benfica and AC Milan after winning international honours in Belgium.

“It will be important to know if I want to take up a second career – in business, for example,” Witsel, 31, told French sports news outlet L’Equipe.

“Or, if I want to go to university – I have a lot of studies and I really want to add something new to the world.”

Witsel, who spent the 2016-17 season at Chinese Super League side Tianjin Teda, said he will be “very happy” to continue to play football.

He told L’Equipe: “I want to play as much as possible. I’m very happy about my move to China because the club and the person really want me there, but when it comes to playing I want to play in as many different ways as possible.

“I love to play as many kinds of football as possible and this is the right move for me.”

Witsel’s career has seen him win six league titles, including four with Benfica in Portugal and one in Belgium.

The midfielder, who played in last season’s Europa League final, will move to China along with another ex-Premier League star, Belgium captain Jan Vertonghen.

Tianjin Quanjian are managed by ex-Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre.

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