Eden Hazard announces his retirement from football | Soccer | Sports

Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard, defended by Getafe defender Juan Iglesias, on May 13, in his last game with Real Madrid.Rodrigo Jimenez (EFE)

The football career of Eden Hazard, who died in life more than three seasons ago, officially ended this Tuesday. The 32-year-old Belgian announced his goodbye in a statement: “You have to know how to listen and say ‘stop’ at the right moment. “I made my dream come true: playing and having fun on fields around the world,” wrote the attacker, who was without a team after agreeing last summer to terminate his contract with Real Madrid.

A fallen star leaves, punished in his last stage by a fatal torrent of injuries and physical problems, with a record of 623 games, 167 goals and 157 assists between Lille, Chelsea and Madrid, plus another 132 games and 26 goals with the selection. He still appears as the white club’s most expensive signing (115 million), although at the Bernabéu he did not leave even two traces of his electric, vertical and imaginative game that elevated him at Chelsea.

The injury to his right ankle caused by his compatriot Thomas Meunier on November 26, 2019 during a Madrid-PSG Champions League match led to his football funeral. From there, three operations, countless muscle discomforts and multiple relapses undermined the career of a winger who came to be placed in the echelon immediately below Messi and Cristiano. As such, Madrid signed him in 2019, a star to lead an orphaned attack after Ronaldo left a year earlier, but none of that happened. That preseason he landed in Valdebebas very overweight and, when he began to sharpen the bodywork, Meunier’s blow put him into a tunnel from which he did not come out.

In his great growth, at Lille and at Chelsea, Hazard showed himself to be a natural talent, the type of footballer who never needed overexertion or hours in the gym to make a difference on the field. “He didn’t run much to defend, he didn’t train well and five minutes before the games he played Mario Kart in the locker room,” his former Stamford Bridge teammate Filipe Luis revealed about him with admiration. “I warmed up with the laces untied. But he came out and no one could take the ball away from him. He dribbled to three or four. If the opponents got too close, he simply walked away,” added the Brazilian full-back. In those seven courses in London (2012-19), he barely suffered any injuries. His body was a clock and his feet were alchemists in their classic starts from the left wing. That was his life and his ascendancy over the game until everything went wrong in Madrid.

Zidane’s faith, the distance with Ancelotti

“On game days it was great, but every time I woke up the next day… Always the same, small ailments. I don’t like playing like that. “I like to be at 100% and not play with fear,” he tried to explain in June 2021, after a year and a half in and out of nursing. Zinedine Zidane’s faith in him had proven infinite until then; in their last months together, far above the evidence that the grass dictated. The Frenchman looked at Vinicius with distrust and surrendered to the Belgian. It remains to be remembered when in May 2021, in the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals against Chelsea, he sent the Brazilian to the right wing to place Hazard on the left wing. He took the first one off at the hour mark while he endured the second one until the end despite his inconsequentiality on the green, in full view of everyone, and his physical insufficiency.

Carlo Ancelotti also started him in August 2021, drawing on his resume, but the bet barely lasted two games. Vinicius burst in, calmer with the Italian coach than with the Frenchman, and there was no more Hazard. Curiously, between Carletto, famous for his left hand with the stars, and him an undisguisable gap opened. “It’s true, I don’t talk to Hazard much,” the Reggiolo coach admitted a few months ago after the player made statements along the same lines. In the locker room, however, Hazard never posed an internal problem. Affable, since Valdebebas his smile was always valued when he fell into hell.

“I have done these three years with injury, but next year I am going to give everything for you,” he shouted in May 2022 to the fans during the celebrations of the fourteenth Champions League. It was his last and sterile promise. There was no more water to draw from that well. In Madrid he did not play in any classic and only celebrated seven goals in 76 games. Roberto Martínez, Belgium’s coach between 2016 and 2022, and another who had almost unlimited faith in him after the third place in the 2018 World Cup, took him to the Qatar event and granted him starting status until the penultimate day, when the Sports emergencies forced him to look for other solutions. On May 13, Eden Hazard played his last official football match, against Getafe at the Bernabéu.

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