Hazard rules out retirement after Madrid exit

Eden Hazard has joked that he’s been “resting for three years” following an injury-hit spell at Real Madrid — but insisted he isn’t thinking about leaving football altogether, after retiring from the Belgium national team.

The forward, 32, left Madrid this month by mutual consent after his contract at the Bernabeu was terminated a year early.

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Hazard retired from international football after the 2022 World Cup, and Belgium players, staff and fans paid tribute to their former captain during the team’s 1-1 European Championship 2024 qualifying draw with Austria in Brussels on Saturday.

“I still feel capable of being a professional footballer, my body can take it,” Hazard told Belgium’s RTBF. “I’ve been resting for two or three years, so I still have a bit of energy!”

Hazard made just six LaLiga appearances last season — two of them starts — without scoring a single goal, bringing an end to a disappointing four years in Madrid after joining the club from Chelsea in 2019.

“I don’t like watching games. It’s frustrating as a player, you always want to help,” Hazard said. “I still don’t know anything [about my future], honestly.

“After three difficult years, I just want to spend time with my family, go on holiday, like anyone else … I’ve read a lot of things in the last few days, a lot of nonsense. I still don’t know. We’ll see.”

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