Eden Hazard, a winger for Chelsea, has decided to end his playing career.
Even though Real Madrid paid Chelsea £89 million to get Hazard in 2019, the 32-year-old only appeared in 54 league games for the Spanish giants before he departed at the end of the 2018–19 season.
At Stamford Bridge, he was able to win two Premier League titles.
Since his contract was cancelled in June, Hazard has been able to work for any team he wants. “You must listen to yourself and say stop at the right time,” he remarked.
“After 16 years and more than 700 matches played, I have decided to end my career as a professional footballer.”
After being eliminated from the 2022 World Cup in the group stage, the Belgian announced his retirement from international football in December.
Hazard won the Champions League, Club World Cup, European Super Cup, two La Liga crowns, one Copa del Rey, and two Spanish Super Cups during his time with Real Madrid. However, his 76 games played and 7 goals scored in Spain are not considered to be very successful.
Hazard began his professional career with French club Lille, where he scored 50 goals in 149 games while also contributing to the team’s 2010-11 Ligue 1 and Coupe de France titles.
He signed with Chelsea for a reputed £32 million in the summer of 2012 and quickly established himself as a club legend, eventually being named the 2014–15 PFA Players’ Player of the Year.
With 110 goals in 352 games for Chelsea, Hazard’s career there ended with a victory over Arsenal in the Europa League final in 2019.
He scored 16 goals and dished out 15 assists in the 2018–19 season, making him one of only four players in Premier League history to do so together with Thierry Henry, Matt Le Tissier, and Eric Cantona.
“During my career I was lucky to meet great managers, coaches and teammates – thank you to everyone for these great times, I will miss you all,” Hazard wrote on his Facebook page.
I’d also like to express my gratitude to LOSC, Chelsea, and Real Madrid, the clubs I’ve previously played for, as well as the RBFA for selecting me to represent Belgium.
Those who have stood by me through thick and thin, through good times and terrible, deserve my deepest gratitude.
Finally, I want to say a great thank you to all of my fans who have supported me throughout the years and every venue I’ve played in.
This is the time for me to spend with my loved ones and explore the world. Friends, I’ll see you when the game’s over.
Hazard made his Belgium debut in 2008, and since then he has appeared in 126 games, scoring 33 goals. He captained the team 56 times and played in three World Cups and two European Championships.
At the 2018 World Cup, when Belgium placed third, he scored three goals, including the game-winning goal in the third-place play-off against England.