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Belgian winger Eden Hazard has announced his retirement from professional football after ending his 16-year career.
Azar said on Instagram on the 10th (local time) that he should listen to his heart and say he will quit in the right time. He has been without his team since June when he mutually agreed to terminate his contract with Real Madrid (Spain) with one year remaining.
"I was able to realize my dream," he said. I had a great time playing in many grounds around the world, he said. "I've played more than 700 games in 16 years, and now I've decided to end my career as a professional player."
Azar thanked each club he was involved in by naming them.
"I would like to thank the Belgian Football Association for selecting me for the national team of LOSC Lille (France), Chelsea (England), Real Madrid (Spain), and Belgium."
Azar, 32, began his professional career in Clulille, France. He was recognized for his skills by contributing to winning the league and cup tournaments, and entered Stamford Bridge in 2012 and enjoyed his heyday. He spent seven seasons with Chelsea, scoring 110 goals in 352 games, and was loved by fans. During this period, he won the Premier League twice, the UEFA Europa League, and the English Football Association (FA) Cup and the League Cup once each.
As a result, he transferred to Real Madrid with a transfer fee of more than 100 million euros (about 142.7 billion won) in 2019.
However, due to injuries, his skills deteriorated and he failed to manage himself, so he hardly played the game. He won the Champions League and La Liga, but it was close to a free ride.
Azar also played a big part in the Belgium national team. He scored 33 goals in 126 appearances.
He was selected for the Belgian national team for the first time in 2008, and led the team as a mainstay of the "Golden Generation" consisting of Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Romelu Lukaku (AS Roma), and Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid). However, he failed to achieve his goal of winning the European Championship and the World Cup.
He retired from the national team first after Belgium was eliminated from the group stage at the last Qatar World Cup.
Thursday, October 12, 2023