Eden Hazard has announced his retirement from professional football, insisting he has decided to stop ‘at the right time’.
Hazard has been without a club since leaving Real Madrid at the end of his contract last summer, following four injury-hit seasons at the Spanish side.
The Belgian had signed for Real Madrid in a deal worth an initial €100m from Chelsea in 2018, after seven decorated seasons in west London that saw Hazard twice lift the Premier League title.
The 32-year-old – who scored 33 goals in 126 caps for Belgium – has now confirmed his retirement from the game, insisting now is ‘the time to enjoy my loved ones and have new experiences’.
“You must listen to yourself and say stop at the right time,” Hazard 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 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 thanks to 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.”