Belgium captain Hazard retires from international football

Former Chelsea star Eden Hazard has announced that he has retired from international football following Belgium’s World Cup group stage exit.

Roberto Martinez’s side was eliminated following their draw with Croatia and Hazard has now confirmed on his Instagram that he has decided “to put an end to my international career”.

He wrote: “A page turns today… Thank you for your love. Thank you for your unparalleled support. Thank you for all this happiness shared since 2008. I have decided to put an end to my international career. The succession is ready. I will miss you…. #onestensemble.”

Hazard spent seven years playing for Chelsea where he scored 110 goals in 352 appearances helping the Blues win six trophies, which included two Premier League titles, in the process.

After helping Chelsea lift the Europa League in 2019, Hazard joined Real Madrid, but injuries have seen him make just 72 appearances in three seasons, with just 98 minutes coming in La Liga this season.

Despite concerns over his fitness, Hazard started Belgium’s first fixture of the tournament where a Michy Batshuayi goal gave them a narrow win over Canada, but a shock defeat to Morocco and a goalless draw with Croatia saw them exit the tournament in the group stages.

The 31-year-old made 126 senior appearances for his country, scoring 33 goals, but he was unable to guide them to a trophy despite the abundance of talent in their squad which includes Man City star Kevin De Bruyne and Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois.

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