Eden Hazard announces retirement from football

Former Chelsea winger Eden Hazard has announced his retirement from football after leaving Real Madrid over the summer.

The 32-year-old Hazard joined the Spanish giants in 2019 for £89m following a successful spell at Stamford Bridge which saw him win the Premier League and Europa League.

However, injuries plagued his time in Madrid meaning he played just 54 league games including only six in 2022/23 - his final season in La Liga.

Despite his limited game time at Real Madrid, Hazard still won the Champions League, Club World Cup, European Super Cup, two La Liga titles, the Copa del Rey and two Spanish Super Cups.

While at Chelsea, he scored 110 goals across 352 appearances and won the Premier League twice.

“You must listen to yourself and say stop at the right time,” said Hazard in a statement announcing his retirement,

“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 teammates - thank you to everyone for these great times, I will miss you all.

“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 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.”

Eden Hazard retires from football after leaving Real Madrid (Getty Images)
Eden Hazard retires from football after leaving Real Madrid (Getty Images)

Hazard started his career at French club Lille where he scored 50 goals in 149 appearances and won Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France in 2010/11.

His performances attracted the eys of Chelsea and in the summer of 2012, Hazard signed for the London side in a reported £32m deal.

He is fondly remembered for his pace, skill and flair whilst playing for the Blues and his winning goal in the 2019 Europa League final against Arsenal, in his final appearance for the club, will forever be memorable.

Tributes have already started to come in praising Hazard’s career with former Chelsea teammates Cesar Azpilicueta and Willian wishing him well for the future.

Azpilicueta said: “The best, Congrats on your spectacular career my friend! I love you so much! #legend”

Willian added: “It was a huge pleasure to play with you my brother, may God continue blessing your life. Thank you for everything love you bro!!!”