icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
7 Dec, 2022 12:56

Belgian star announces international retirement after World Cup failure

Eden Hazard has called time on a 14-year career with the Red Devils
Belgian star announces international retirement after World Cup failure

Eden Hazard has announced his retirement from Belgium’s national team following their disappointing campaign at the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

The Russia 2018 semifinalists failed to advance out of the group, scoring only one goal as they won 1-0 against Canada, lost 2-0 to Morocco, and drew 0-0 with Croatia.

Real Madrid forward Hazard played in all three games, but has decided to step away from the international fold after the ‘Golden Generation’ he spearheaded along with Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne once more fell short at a major tournament. 

“A page turns today,” wrote the 31-year-old on Instagram, to accompany a photo of himself celebrating a goal for Belgium. 

“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…,” he added. 

Hazard won 126 caps and scored 33 goals for Belgium after making his debut against Luxembourg in 2008. 

He appeared at three World Cups and two European Championships, and wore the captain’s armband in 56 appearances. 

Belgium striker Michy Batshuayi called Hazard “legendary” in the comments section of his post, where goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois left a loveheart and a teary emoji.

His Real Madrid teammate Vinicius Jr also hailed him as a “legend” and ex-Los Blancos left-back Marcelo chose “idol” as former club Chelsea said he was “one of the all-time Belgian greats.”

Hazard’s announcement comes after manager Robert Martinez left his post swiftly after Belgium drew with the Croatians and crashed out of Qatar 2022.

Underwhelming since joining from Chelsea in an estimated £150 million ($182 million) deal in 2019, Hazard may leave Real Madrid next summer or for free in 2024 when his contract expires following an injury-ravaged time in Spain.