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Former Real Madrid Star Eden Hazard Retires From Professional Football

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Eden Hazard announced his retirement from the game of professional football at the age of 32, ending a 16-year career.

Before completing his club career with a disastrous stint at Real Madrid, the forward had good stints at Lille and Chelsea.

“You must listen to yourself and say stop at the right time,” Hazard wrote in an Instagram post.

“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.”

In a statement, Hazard praised the Belgian FA and the Belgian national team in addition to his three clubs, Lille, Chelsea, and Real Madrid.

“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,” the post continued.

“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.”

In his professional career, Hazard won five league championships, including the PFA Player of the Year award in 2014–15, as well as other individual awards, including two with Chelsea, one with Los Blancos, and one with Lille.

Hazard was an important contributor to Belgium’s 2018 World Cup squad, which finished third after narrowly falling to eventual champions France in the semifinals.

In a series of tweets on X, the social media platform that replaced Twitter, Chelsea paid tribute to Hazard, calling him “a player who could pretty much do anything with a ball at his feet.”

“Happy retirement, to one of Chelsea’s greatest ever players,” it concludes.

In an equally moving tribute, Lille wrote that Hazard is the “greatest talent trained at LOSC” and that “[Hazard’s] prowess will live forever in our memories.”

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