Ex-Chelsea, Real Madrid star Eden Hazard announces his retirement

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  • Post published:October 10, 2023

Former Chelsea and Real Madrid star Eden Hazard has announced his retirement from professional football.

The 32-year-old played just 76 games in all competitions over four seasons after joining the Spanish giants in 2019 for 89 million pounds (103 million euros, $110 million). His time there was plagued by injuries.

“You must listen to yourself and say stop at the right time,” Hazard wrote on Instagram. “After 16 years and more than 700 matches played, I have decided to end my career as a professional footballer.”

Hazard was much happier while playing for Chelsea, where he won the FA and League Cup three times, the Europa League once, and the Premier League once.

Additionally, he played a key role in Belgium’s impressive World Cup run to the semi-finals, where they lost to eventual champions France after defeating Brazil in the quarter-finals.

However, he was unable to motivate himself for the World Cup finals in 2018, and along with fellow stars Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne, Hazard and an underwhelming Belgium were eliminated in the group stage.

Hazard, who also won titles with Lille and Real in Ligue 1 and La Liga, as well as a Champions League medal in 2022 as an unused substitute, was appreciative as he signed off.

“I was able to realise my dream, I have played and had fun on many pitches around the world,” he said.

“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.”

He thanked his clubs and the Belgian federation as well as friends, family and advisors “who have been close to me in good times and bad”.

“Finally, a huge thank you to you, my fans, who have followed me for all these years and for your encouragement everywhere I have played,” he added.

Frank Lampard and John Terry, two of Hazard’s former teammates at Chelsea, paid him tribute.

“What a talent, and what a career… it was a pleasure to play with you, and you are a top man in every way. Good luck with what comes next,” Lampard wrote in reply to Hazard’s announcement on social media.

Terry added: “LEGEND. Enjoy retirement mate. What a player.”