Belgian superstar Eden Hazard has hang up his boots, announcing his retirement from professional football.
Hazard had an incredible career spanning across 16 years, playing over 700 matches. In a statement released on social media on Tuesday, Hazard expressed gratitude for the memories and experiences he gained while playing football.
“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,” he added “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 played for LOSC, Chelsea, and Real Madrid. He also represented the Belgian national team, sweeping about 123 international caps, while scoring 33 goals.
The 32-year-old began his senior career with the Ligue 1 club Lille in 2007 at the age of 16 and became an important addition to the then-manager Rudi Garcia.
In his first full season, Hazard became the first non-French player to win the Ligue 1. The same year, he won the Young Player of the Year award, and the following season became the first player to win the award twice.
In the 2010/11 season, he won the league and cup double. Following his performance, Hazard was named the Ligue 1 Player of the Year, the youngest player to win the award.
After making over 190 appearances and scoring 50 goals for Lille, Hazard signed for English club Chelsea in June 2012.
He won several titles at the club, including two Premier League cups, and two Europa League titles among others. He made a total of 245 appearances for Chelsea, scoring 85 goals, his highest for any club until his retirement.
After leaving Chelsea in 2019, Hazard joined Real Madrid for a club-record fee worth up to €150 million.
However, his time with the Spanish giants was marred by injury worries, poor performances, and a lack of fitness. He made 54 appearances for the side, scoring only four goals in four years, before leaving in June 2023.