Eden Hazard retired from international football on Wednesday after Belgium’s group stage exit.
- The 31-year-old Real Madrid forward posted “a page turns today” on social media.
- He thanked followers on Instagram.
Belgium star Eden Hazard announced his international retirement on Wednesday, days after the team was eliminated from the World Cup in the group stage.
The 31-year-old Real Madrid forward made the announcement via social media, writing “a new chapter begins today.”
Eden Hazard wrote on Instagram, “Thank you for your unwavering support.” “Since 2008, thank you for all the happiness shared. I have made the decision to end my international career. The transition is complete. You will be missed.”
The Belgium national team tweeted, “Best of luck, captain.”
As an attacking midfielder or winger, Hazard made his Belgium debut as a teenager in 2008 and has since earned 126 caps, scoring 33 goals. He was the leader of Belgium’s much-vaunted “golden generation,” which reached the 2018 World Cup semifinals in Russia.
Fifa still ranks the team second in the world, but many of its players are now in their 30s and it finished third in Group F, behind Morocco and Croatia.
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Hazard, the team’s captain, made a startling admission during the tournament in Qatar, stating that the team’s best opportunity to win the World Cup had passed.
In 2012, the forward moved from French club Lille to Chelsea, where he became one of the league’s most prominent stars and won the championship twice. He completed a lucrative transfer to Real Madrid in 2019, but has struggled to replicate the form he displayed in England due to injury.
A number of Belgium’s other stars, including Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois, have likely played their final World Cup matches amid rumours of in-fighting in Qatar. Following their elimination, Belgium coach Roberto Martinez announced his resignation.
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