By Victor Kanayo
After passing through a protracted out-of-form career period, Belgium international, Eden Hazard, has finally quit playing professional football.
Hazard, 32, who played prominiently for Chelsea and Real Madrid announced his retirement on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, via his social media handle.
He wrote, “You must listen to yourself and stay stop at the right time,” he wrote.
“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.”
While reflecting further, Hazard, now a former play maker said, “”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.”
High And Low Of A Player’s Professional Career
With Chelsea, Hazard won the Premier League twice and was named PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2015.
In all, he scored 110 goals in 352 games for the Blues, where he also won two UEFA Europa League titles, and the FA Cup and League Cup once.
His form earned him a move to Real Madrid for a fee reported to be €100m (£86.4m) in 2019, but Hazard struggled with injuries after arriving and never played more than 18 league games for Real in a single season.
He also faced competition for his place from Vinicius Jr as the Brazilian emerged as a key player at the Bernabeu.
During his time at Real, he scored seven goals in 76 appearances, 10 of which came in all competitions in the 2022/23 season.
Among the trophies won at the club are two LaLiga titles, one Champions League and one Copa Del Rey.