Former Chelsea and Real Madrid player, Eden Hazard, has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 32.
The ex-Belgian captain on Tuesday, via his Instagram page posted a statement of his retirement after 16 years of playing football.
He wrote, “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.”
The winger has been without a club since being released by Real Madrid in the summer, despite making just 76 appearances in four seasons with the club.
Eden Hazard was born on January 7, 1991, in La Louvière, Belgium.
Both his mother, Carine, and father, Thierry, were football players. His father spent the majority of his semi-professional career with La Louvière in the Belgian Second Division, primarily as a defensive midfielder.
Hazard began his football career at the age of four when he joined his hometown team Royal Stade Brainois. He spent eight years at the club before moving to AFC Tubize. He joined Lille in 2005.
Eden Hazard brothers include Thorgan Hazard (RSC Anderlecht), Kylian Hazard (RWD Molenbeek) and Ethan Hazard (R Union Tubize-Braine U21).
Hazard transferred to Chelsea from Lille on July 1, 2012, and spent 7 years at the club. He went on to join Real Madrid on July 1, 2019. He became the captain of Belgium in 2015 and retired from the national team in 2022.
For Belgium, Hazard played 123 matches, with 33 goals and 36 assists.
For Chelsea, Hazard made 352 appearances, scoring 110 goals and making 92 assists.
For Lille, Hazard played 194 matches, scoring 50 goals and making 53 assists.
For Real Madrid, Hazard played 72 matches, scoring 7 goals and making 11 assists.
He has a total of five league titles across three leagues he featured in (2x English Champion, 2017 Chelsea FC & 2015 Chelsea FC; 2x Spanish champion, 21/22 Real Madrid & 19/20 Real Madrid and 1x French champion (10/11 LOSC Lille).