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.
Hazard said on social media on Tuesday: “You have to listen to yourself and say stop at the right time.
“After 16 years and more than 700 games played, I have decided to end my professional football career.
“I was able to fulfill my dream, playing and having fun on many pitches around the world. I’ve been lucky to have great managers, coaches and teammates throughout my career – thank you all for these great times, I’ll miss you.” All.
“I also want to thank the clubs I played for: LOSC, Chelsea and Real Madrid; and thank the RBFA for my Belgian selection.
“Special thanks to my family, my friends, my advisors and people who have been close to me through good times and bad.
“Finally, a huge thank you to you, my fans, who have been following me all these years and for your encouragement everywhere I’ve played.
“Now is the time to enjoy your loved ones and have new experiences. See you off the field soon my friends.”
Hazard turned down interest from MLS and the Saudi Pro League this summer, as well as the chance to play club football for the first time in his native Belgium.
Hazard began his professional career at Lille in 2007, quickly becoming a fan favorite and leading them to a league and cup double in 2011. Last year at Lille, he scored 20 goals in 38 Ligue 1 games.
He was courted by Manchester City and Manchester United in the summer of 2012, but chose to join reigning European champions Chelsea instead.
During his seven-year stay at Stamford Bridge, Hazard became one of the Premier League’s best players, winning two league titles and four other trophies for the Blues.
Hazard signed off his Chelsea tenure with a winner against Arsenal in the 2019 Europa League final before sealing an £87m dream move to Real Madrid.
However, his time at the Santiago Bernabeu was severely hampered by injuries and he made just 76 appearances and scored seven goals in four seasons with Los Blancos.
Hazard will go down as a Belgian legend who was the shining light of their ‘golden generation’ which culminated in third place at the 2018 World Cup.
During his career, Hazard played 761 senior games and scored 201 goals.