Real Madrid's Eden Hazard set to retire aged 32 after terminating contract early

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Eden Hazard, the Real Madrid forward, has made the decision to retire from professional football at the age of 32, according to reports.

Hazard recently ended his contract with Real Madrid, putting an early end to his disappointing spell at the Santiago Bernabeu, a year before its scheduled conclusion.

The renowned player had already retired from international duty following Belgium's disappointing performance in the 2022 World Cup. Recent reports from Spain indicate that Hazard intends to stay in the capital city, making retirement a viable option for him.

Mundo Deportivo reveals that Hazard, along with his family, wishes to remain in Madrid, and this has become a serious consideration for him in recent days. This choice presents him with a difficult decision: either find a new club nearby or retire from a career that previously positioned him among Europe's finest footballers before joining Real Madrid.

In an official statement on their website, Real Madrid CF announced, "Real Madrid CF and Eden Hazard have mutually agreed to terminate the player's contract as of June 30, 2023. Eden Hazard has been an integral part of our club for four seasons, during which he secured eight titles: one European Cup, one Club World Cup, one European Super Cup, two League titles, one Copa del Rey, and two Spanish Super Cups. Real Madrid expresses its fondness for Eden Hazard and extends its best wishes to him and his family in this new phase."

Retiring at the age of 32 might seem early, considering players like Cristiano Ronaldo, currently 38, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who just retired at 41, continue to perform. However, it appears that Hazard has been contemplating this decision for a while, as his passion for the game reportedly dwindled during his time at Real Madrid.

After a successful stint with Chelsea, Hazard's move to Los Blancos for a fee that could have reached £150 million was plagued by injuries, resulting in reduced playing time. Consequently, Hazard made only 76 appearances for Real Madrid, scoring seven goals and providing 12 assists, a disappointing output for one of the most talented players of the past decade.

Although Hazard chose to end his contract prematurely after reaching an agreement with the club officials, there were no reports of any integration issues within the squad. Unlike former star Gareth Bale, who famously struggled with the Spanish language, Hazard was reportedly fluent, and his smooth transition into Madrid life is one of the reasons he wishes to remain in the city. Moreover, one of his sons, Leo, recently joined Real Madrid's youth setup just three months ago.

While retirement seems likely, there are reports that Hazard has some interest in exploring opportunities in the MLS or engaging in similarly intriguing projects. Additionally, there may be enticing mega-money offers from Saudi Arabia that could prove difficult to decline.

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