When did hazard join chelsea ? Oct 10 (Reuters) – Former Real Madrid and Chelsea winger Eden Hazard announced his retirement from football at the age of 32 on Tuesday four months after leaving the Spanish giants.
The former Belgium international joined Real in 2019 as the club’s record signing but suffered injuries and struggled to settle at the Santiago Bernabeu during a dismal four-year spell.
Despite limited playing time at Real, Hazard won several trophies, including the Champions League and two LaLiga titles.
“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,” Hazard said in a statement on Instagram.
“I was able to realise my dream, I have played and had fun on many pitches around the world. Now is the time to enjoy my loved ones and have new experiences.”
Hazard joined Chelsea from Lille in 2012 and won the Europa League in 2013 and 2019 with the London club. He also won the Premier League title in 2015 and in 2017 as well as the League Cup and the FA Cup.
He made his senior debut for Belgium in 2008 and scored 33 goals in 126 games, leading them to third place at the 2018 World Cup, before retiring from international football following their group stage exit at last year’s World Cup in Qatar.
Eden Hazard, one of the greatest players in Chelsea history, has announced his retirement from football at the age of 32.
Hazard joined the Blues in the summer of 2012. He confirmed his arrival with a now-famous tweet: ‘I’m signing for the Champions League winner’.
It didn’t take long for the Belgian to earn a place in the hearts of Chelsea supporters. His dazzling trickery, uninhibited dribbles, and penchant for the spectacular goal helped bring further silverware to Stamford Bridge.
In seven memorable years at Chelsea, Hazard made 352 appearances, scored 110 goals, and was named the club’s Player of the Year on four occasions.
He won the Premier League twice, the FA Cup, the League Cup, and signed off with a match-winning performance in the 2019 Europa League final against Arsenal.
Hazard departed for Real Madrid in the summer of 2019. Yet his place in Chelsea history – and the adulation he would receive from supporters – was long cemented. He would always be welcome back at Stamford Bridge.
A little over four years have passed since Hazard moved on from Chelsea. He left Real Madrid at the end of last season and has now decided to call time on his glorious playing career.
“You must listen to yourself and stay stop at the right time,” Hazard wrote on Instagram. “After 16 years and more than 700 matches played, I have decided to end my career as a professional footballer.
“I was able to realise 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 team-mates – thank you to everyone for these great times, I will miss you all.
‘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.
“Finally, 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.”
Eden Hazard chooses Chelsea for chance of a regular first-team place
Eden Hazard says that he chose Chelsea over Manchester United because he felt he had a better chance to establish himself in the first team at Stamford Bridge. The 21-year-old Belgium attacking midfielder completed his £32m move from Lille on Monday, after undergoing a medical and agreeing terms on a five‑year contract worth £150,000 a week, in what was a serious statement of intent from the European champions.
Hazard, who was linked to several of Europe’s leading clubs, including Manchester City, Arsenal, Real Madrid and Barcelona, admitted that Chelsea’s Champions League final victory against Bayern Munich had helped him to make up his mind. It was clear that he was going to sign for a club that could offer Champions League football and Chelsea’s triumph propelled them into the competition next season, helping them to make light of the disappointment of finishing sixth in the Premier League.
The manner in which Chelsea made him feel central to their plans, though, tipped the balance. “There was a struggle between Chelsea and United but, for me, Chelsea has the best project,” Hazard said. “The team is young and I have a better chance to play there. At 21, Real or Barça would have been more difficult for me. If I play well enough at Chelsea, I could win my place in the starting team. When they won the Champions League, I told myself: ‘Why not Chelsea?'”
Chelsea do not have a permanent manager with the contract of Roberto Di Matteo, the interim coach, set to expire at the end of the month and him remaining uncertain about his future at the club. But Chelsea’s owner, Roman Abramovich, drove the purchase of the confident and skilful Hazard as he seeks a more attractive style for next season, when he hopes to challenge for the Premier League title. His team lagged 25 points off the pace last time out.
Abramovich is in the throes of an expensive rejuvenation of his playing staff. Didier Drogba, José Bosingwa and Salomon Kalou, three Champions League final starters, have been released while the club will consider offers for Michael Essien and Florent Malouda, who each have one year remaining on their deals. Together with Hazard, Chelsea have signed Marko Marin for £7m from Werder Bremen and Kevin de Bruyne has arrived for the same sum from Genk, having been loaned back to the Belgian club for the second half of last season.
Hazard is the second most expensive signing in Chelsea’s history and Abramovich sees him starting in a line of three behind the most expensive transfer, the £50m Fernando Torres. The owner is also close to completing the £38m purchase from Porto of Hulk, who could play off the right flank.
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