Eden Hazard has announced his retirement from football at the age of 32. The Belgian, a Chelsea legend, signed for Real Madrid in a deal worth up to 150million just four years ago but his LaLiga career was badly affected by injuries.
Announcing the news on Instagram, he wrote: “You must listen to yourself and say stop at the right time.
“After 16 years and more than 700 matches played, I have decided to end my career as a professional footballer. I was able to realize 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.”
Hazard made just 76 appearances for Los Blancos
– scoring seven goals – and only managed 10 matches in 2022-23.
Those numbers do little justice to his career as a whole after a Chelsea stint that made him one of the greatest players in the West Londoners’ history.
The former Lille man scored 110 goals in 352 matches for the Blues from 2012-19, playing a starring role in two Premier League title wins.
He also won the FA Cup, League Cup, and two Europa Leagues in his time at Stamford Bridge as well as claiming the PFA and FWA Player of the Year gongs in 2015.