Eden Hazard has retired from football at the age of 32 after leaving Real Madrid. The Belgium international earned an £88.5m move to Madrid in 2019 with outstanding performances for Chelsea but his career stalled at the Bernabéu.
Hazard joined Chelsea from Lille in 2012 and won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two Europa Leagues.
“You must listen to yourself and say stop at the right time,” said Hazard, whose contract at Madrid was terminated a year early in June. “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.”
Hazard, a player of breathtaking creativity at his best, made 126 appearances for Belgium and retired from international football last December after a disappointing World Cup.
His time at Madrid was repeatedly interrupted by injuries and last season, when he was much more often available, he rarely played. He made 76 appearances across four seasons for the club.
“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 posted on social media.
“I also want to thank the clubs I have played for: LOSC, Chelsea and Real Madrid; and thank the RBFA for my Belgian selection. A special thank you to my family, my friends, my advisers 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.”