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Eden Hazard announces retirement from football

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Eden Hazard has confirmed that he is retiring from football at the age of 32.

The Belgian left Real Madrid at the end of the 2022/23 season and did not join a new club over the summer.

He has now taken to social media to announce his retirement from playing, bringing the curtain down on a 16-year playing career.

Taking to social media on Tuesday, Hazard said: “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 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.”

90min understands that Hazard rejected interest from MLS and the Saudi Pro League this summer, as well as the opportunity to play club football in his native Belgium for the first time.

Hazard began his professional career with Lille in 2007, quickly becoming a fan favourite and leading them to a league-and-cup double in 2011. His final year at Lille saw him score 20 goals in 38 Ligue 1 games.

He was courted by Manchester City and Manchester United in the summer of 2012, but instead chose to join reigning European champions Chelsea.

During a seven-year stay at Stamford Bridge, Hazard became one of the Premier League’s finest ever players, winning two league titles and four other trophies for the Blues.

Hazard signed off his time at Chelsea with victory against Arsenal in the Europa League final in 2019 before sealing a dream £87m move to Real Madrid.

However, his time at the Santiago Bernabeu was severely hampered by injuries and he ended up making just 76 appearances across four seasons at Los Blancos, scoring seven goals.

Hazard will go down as a Belgium legend having been the shining light of their ‘golden generation’, which peaked with a third-place finish at the 2018 World Cup.

Across his career, Hazard played 761 senior games and scored 201 goals.