Eden Hazard has officially resigned from professional football.
The former Real Madrid and Chelsea footballer made a remarkable £89m move to Real Madrid after a successful career at Stamford Bridge where he clinched a Premier League and Europa League title.
In his last season in La Liga, he appeared in six league matches, contributing to a total of 54 league appearances in his career in the top Spanish football division.
Although his time at Real Madrid was short, he still secured impressive wins including the Club World Cup, the Champions League, two La Liga titles, the European Super Cup, the Copa del Rey, and two Spanish Super Cups.
In a statement announcing his retirement, Hazard said, “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 realize 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.
He also expressed gratitude to his fans who have followed and encouraged him throughout his career.
He added that it was time for him to spend time with his loved ones and have new experiences.
Tributes have already started pouring in from his former teammates at Chelsea where he netted 110 goals in 352 appearances and won the Premier League twice.
Following his international debut against Luxembourg in 2008, Hazard garnered 126 Belgium caps and contributed 33 goals. He played in three World Cups and made European Championship appearances. He also captained the team 56 times.