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'Thank you Eden Hazard': Fans applaud 'King' of Belgium's golden generation after international retirement

Belgium’s iconic forward Eden Hazard on Wednesday announced his retirement from international football after his team’s disappointing group-stage exit at the Qatar World Cup 2022.

football Eden Hazard retires from international football fans thank 'king' of Belgium's golden generation snt
First Published Dec 7, 2022, 6:28 PM IST

Belgium's iconic forward Eden Hazard on Wednesday announced his retirement from international football after his team's shocking group-stage exit at the Qatar World Cup 2022. The 31-year-old Real Madrid player featured in all three Group F games of the tournament but failed to add to his international goal-scoring tally as Belgium finished third after beating Canada, losing to Morocco and playing out a goalless draw with Croatia.

In 126 games since making his international debut in 2008, Hazard has scored 33 goals. The former Chelsea star aided Belgium in winning the third-place playoff against England and advancing to the 2018 World Cup semifinals, where they fell to eventual champions France.

Also read: 'Wasted golden generation': Belgium fans slam Roberto Martinez after quitting as manager post World Cup exit

"Today I turn a page. Thanks for your love," Hazard wrote on Instagram. "Thank you for your unparalleled support. Thank you for all the joyful moments we have shared since 2008. I have decided to put an end to my international career. The succession is ready. I will miss you….#onestensemble," the Belgium icon added.


A post shared by Eden Hazard (@hazardeden_10)

Hazard served as the 'King' of Belgium's lauded "golden generation, and was a fan favourite when the team was at its peak. The sensational forward plays for La Liga giants Real Madrid and has a five-year deal with the Los Blancos. The Belgian joined the Spanish giants after a successful stint with Chelsea, where he scored 110 goals from 352 games. He joined the west London club in 2012 after a stint with Lille.

Hazard won the Premier League, Europa League twice, the FA Cup, and the League Cup during his seven seasons with Chelsea. Additionally, he received Chelsea's Player of the Year honour four times.

Following Hazard's retirement from international football, most fans noted that the Belgium legend's career spiralled down since his exit from Chelsea. The forward was marred with a knee injury and also lost the prime form that he held with the Premier League giants. Some supporters also noted that Belgium's 'golden generation' was essentially the prime Eden Hazard era.

Also read: Lukaku trolled after Croatia send No. 2 ranked Belgium packing out of Qatar World Cup 2022

Hazard's Belgium teammate Kevin De Bruyne said, "What a journey it has been. Congratulations Capi. You’ll be missed!"

"When you realize that Belgium "golden generation" is just prime Hazard carrying the whole team every single game. When he doesn't, the whole team fell apart. Thank you, idolo," said one Hazard fan on Twitter.

"Can't believe this day has come, the greatest Belgian player of all time has finally retired from International football, close to tears man. You deserved better," wrote another fan.

Here's a look at some of the other reactions:

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