Former Real Madrid and Chelsea striker Hazard retires


On Tuesday, the 32-year-old Azar announced his retirement, ending a 16-year career.

The forward enjoyed successful spells with Lille and Chelsea before a disappointing spell at Real Madrid ended his club career.

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“You have to listen to yourself and say stop when the time is right,” Azar wrote in an Instagram post.

“After 16 years and more than 700 games, I have decided to end my career as a professional footballer. I was able to fulfill my dream, I played on many stadiums around the world and had fun.

“I have been blessed to have great coaches, coaches and teammates throughout my career – thank you all for this great time. I will miss you all.”

In his statement, Hazard thanked his three clubs – Lille, Chelsea and Real Madrid – as well as the Belgian Football Association and the national team.

The post continued: “A special thank you to my family, friends, advisors and those who have been close to me in good times and bad.”

“Finally, a huge thank you to you, my fans, for following me all these years and for encouraging me everywhere I play. Now it’s time to be with the people I love and enjoy a new Experienced.”

“See you soon, my friends.”

Hazard has won five league titles in his career – with Chelsea and los blancosas well as a spell with Lille – as well as a number of individual awards, including the 2014-15 PFA Player of the Year.

Hazard was a key member of Belgium’s breakthrough generation of players who finished third at the 2018 World Cup but narrowly lost to eventual champions France in the semi-finals.

Chelsea pay tribute to Hazard in series of matches post On the X (formerly Twitter) social media site, he described him as “a player who can do almost anything with the ball at his feet.”

“Happy retirement to one of Chelsea’s greatest ever players,” it concluded.

Lille too release The emotional tribute said “(Hazard’s) bravery will always live in our memories” and that Hazard was “the greatest talent ever produced at LOSC”.

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