While many anticipated that the news would eventually break, there was still some sadness amongst football fans when it was announced today that Eden Hazard is retiring from the game. The 32-year-old left Real Madrid in the summer and was linked to a whole host of clubs. However, the former Chelsea man has decided to hang up his boots instead.
For many, Hazard is the greatest talent Belgium has ever produced, especially when it comes to outfield players. Comparing across era’s is always difficult, but it is hard to argue with the numbers that Hazard put up. At international level, he played 126 times for the Red Devil’s and scored 33 goals. For many, he was the catalyst of the Golden Generation that came close to winning the country international silverware. The winger appeared in three world cups and two European championships.
At club level, it is Chelsea fans who will hold him in highest regard. He won two league titles with the London side, scoring an incredible 110 goals in 352 games. He also provided 92 assists in that time. Hazard also won two Europa League titles, an FA Cup and a League Cup with Chelsea. In 2015 he was named footballer of the year in England.
Prior to joining Chelsea, Hazard had helped Lille to the Ligue 1 title in 2011. He played 194 games for the French side and scored 50 goals.
His career slumped soon after leaving Chelsea in the summer of 2019. The big move to Real Madrid did not work out for Hazard or the Spanish giants. In the handful of seasons he spent in Spain, the Belgian could only manage seven goals and 12 assists in 76 games.
Over the summer there were rumors that he may finally play in Belgium’s domestic league, like his brothers are currently. However, a move never materialised and now he has decided to move on from playing.