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Eden Hazard retires from football at 32

Former Chelsea and Real Madrid forward Eden Hazard has announced his retirement from football at the age of 32.

Hazard won two Premier League titles at Stamford Bridge before moving to Real Madrid in 2019.

But the Belgian struggled with injuries and made just 76 appearances in four seasons at Real before leaving in the summer.

“You must listen to yourself and stay stop at the right time,” he wrote on Instagram.

“After 16 years and more than 700 matches played, I have decided to end my career as a professional footballer.

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

“During my career, I was lucky to meet great managers, coaches and team-mates – thank you to everyone for these great times, I will miss you all.”

Hazard, named PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2015, added: “I also want to thank the clubs I have played for: LOSC, Chelsea and Real Madrid; and thank the RBFA for my Belgian selection.

Real Madrid's Eden Hazard controls the ball during the Champions League group F soccer match between Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Madrid at Polish Army Stadium stadium in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Michal Dyjuk)

Image:Hazard joined Real Madrid for a club-record 130m

“A special thank you to my family, my friends, my advisors and the people 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.

“Now is the time to enjoy my loved ones and have new experiences. See you off the field soon my friends.”

Chelsea signed Hazard for £32m from Lille in 2012, and he made 352 appearances for the club, scoring 110 goals.

He won two Premier League titles, two Europa Leagues, the FA Cup and League Cup during his time at Stamford Bridge.

In July 2019, Hazard joined Real Madrid in a deal worth a club-record £130m including bonuses.

Hazard signed an initial five-year deal until 2024, but his time at the Bernabeu was beset by injuries and poor form.

During his time at Real, he scored seven goals in 76 appearances, 10 of which came in all competitions in the 2022/23 season.

Among the trophies won at the club are two LaLiga titles, one Champions League and one Copa Del Rey.

‘One of the best Premier League players of all time’

Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard has announced his retirement from football

Sky Sports’ Lyall Thomas:

“Eden Hazard had not completed 90 minutes of football for almost two years.

“His last full match was on December 19, 2021, playing for Real Madrid against Cadiz.

“Hazard only completed 90 minutes for Real six times in four years; five in La Liga and once in the Champions League.

“He was plagued with injury problems after joining from Chelsea for €100m (then around £89m).

“Hazard nevertheless captained Belgium at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, despite not playing 90 minutes for his country either since a June 2021 friendly against Finland.

“He will go down as one of the best Premier League players of all time with 85 goals in 245 league appearances for Chelsea.”

Credit: Sky Sports 

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