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Eden Hazard’s Surprising Decision: What’s Next?

The Curious Case of Eden Hazard: Chelsea Legend, Real Madrid Enigma

From Lille’s Prodigy to Chelsea’s Shining Star

Embarking on the football scene with French maestros, Lille, Eden Hazard’s raw talent soon became apparent. With an astounding 50 goals in 149 outings, he was instrumental in the club’s domestic double, clinching both Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France in 2010-11.

But it was his move to Chelsea in 2012 that truly put him on the global map. Signed for a cool £32m, Hazard wasn’t just another expensive acquisition for the Blues. He was a force to be reckoned with, clinching the PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2014-15. Remarkably, he joined the elite list of just four players in Premier League annals to both score and assist more than 15 times in one season. With 16 goals and 15 assists in the 2018-19 spree, he was a playmaker par excellence.

Across 352 appearances for Chelsea, Hazard left an indelible mark, notably sealing the 2019 Europa League victory against Arsenal with his final goal for the club.

Real Madrid: Triumph Amidst the Trials

Hazard’s journey from Stamford Bridge to Santiago Bernabéu was met with fanfare. The £89m transfer to Real Madrid in 2019 was seen as a new chapter. However, despite the silverware – a Champions League, Club World Cup, European Super Cup, two La Liga crowns, a Copa del Rey, and two Spanish Super Cups – his tenure in Madrid was one shrouded in ‘what-ifs’. Just 7 goals in 76 appearances tell a tale of a star that perhaps never truly aligned with Los Blancos.

Saying Adieu to the Beautiful Game

BBC Sport reports the poignant farewell of this football icon. At 32, and after more than 700 professional matches, Hazard has hung up his boots. “You must listen to yourself and say stop at the right time,” he mused, acknowledging a career that spanned over 16 years.

The football community had sensed this, especially after his decision to retire from international football post Belgium’s 2022 World Cup group-stage exit. With 126 caps, 33 goals, three World Cups, two European Championships, and captaining the side 56 times, Hazard’s international journey was as illustrious as his club stints. Who can forget his decisive strikes at the 2018 World Cup, guiding Belgium to a commendable third place?

Final Bow

Hazard’s departure message resonated with gratitude. Thanking managers, coaches, teammates, and clubs, from Lille to Chelsea and Real Madrid, and the RBFA for his Belgian tenure, he said, “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.”

But perhaps the most touching tribute was reserved for his fans: “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.”

As football bids goodbye to one of its finest, one thing remains certain – the legacy of Eden Hazard will remain undimmed.

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