After Belgium’s early elimination from the World Cup in Qatar, Eden Hazard declared his retirement from international competition.
According to reports, the choice was taken after his country was eliminated from the competition after a 0-0 tie with Croatia on matchday three. Belgium finished third in Group F behind Morocco and Croatia, both of whom advanced to the competition’s quarterfinals. Hazard appeared in all three of the group games but went scoreless.
Hazard announced his retirement in the following Instagram post to his fans: “A page flips today… I appreciate your affection. I appreciate your exceptional assistance. Thank you for sharing all of this joy with us since 2008. I’ve made the decision to discontinue my international career. The successors are prepared. You will be missed.I will miss you…”
With his statement, Hazard ends a career that spanned 126 international matches from 2008 to 2022, scoring 33 goals throughout that time. The so-called “Golden Generation” of Belgian football, which included the 31-year-old, is starting to come to an end after manager Roberto Martinez declared he will resign after the team’s elimination from the group stage.
WHAT NEXT FOR HAZARD? Hazard’s decision to retire from international competition at the young age of 31 will allow him to concentrate on matters at the club level, as the Belgian has struggled to contribute more than six goals per season (four goals, two assists in 2020–21) since moving to Real Madrid from Chelsea back in 2019.