Former Chelsea favourite Eden Hazard announces retirement from football at 32

Eden Hazard is thrown into the air by his Real Madrid team-mates after his final game at the club in June 2023.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Former Chelsea and Real Madrid attacker Eden Hazard has announced his retirement from football at the age of 32.

The Belgian left Los Blancos in the summer as his contract expired following an injury-hit four-year spell in Spain and the Belgian insists the time is right for him to hang up his boots.

"You must listen to yourself and say stop at the right time," he wrote in a post 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 team-mates - 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."

And he added: "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."

Hazard started his career at Lille, but will be best remembered for his time at Chelsea, where he scored 110 goals in 352 appearances and played the best football of his career.

His time at Real Madrid was less memorable and blighted by injuries, which restricted him to just 76 appearances and seven goals across four seasons following a €100 million transfer in 2019.

The 32-year-old played 126 times for Belgium, scoring 33 goals. He won 12 major trophies across his career, including two Premier League titles, two Europa Leagues, one LaLiga and a Champions League crown.

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