Journalist lifts lid on Hazard retirement after search for ‘final challenge’ failed due to two reasons

Jason Soutar
Eden Hazard sits on the bench during a Real Madrid match.
Eden Hazard sits on the bench during a Real Madrid match.

Journalist Bruno Ahoyo says Chelsea legend Eden Hazard “sounded the market” to find a “final challenge” before deciding to retire from professional football.

Hazard announced his decision to hang up his boots on Tuesday, posting a statement on Instagram.

“You must listen to yourself and say stop at the right time,” he said.

“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 teammates – thank you to everyone for these great times, 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.”

FEATURE: The most expensive player from each of the top 25 countries features an awful lot of Chelsea

Hazard left Real Madrid in June after his contract was terminated.

The former Belgium captain joined Los Blancos for £105million in 2019, leaving Chelsea for the massive fee despite being in the final 12 months of his contract at Stamford Bridge.

His time in the Spanish capital was bitterly disappointing, however, scoring a measly seven goals in 76 appearances.

There were plenty of rumours over the summer with Hazard’s long-term future in the game up in the air.

A post on X from Ahoyo has stated the 32-year-old was eager to continue playing but could not find a club that fit his “pedigree nor his family requirements”.

Ahoyo said: “From my Belgian sources. Eden Hazard agents sounded the market this summer for a final challenge. They found nothing that could fit Hazard’s pedigree nor his family requirements.

“He took his final decision a few days ago.”

READ MORE: How the biggest Premier League transfer windfalls were spent: Hazard, Coutinho and more…