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Official: Eden Hazard announces retirement from international football



Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Real Madrid and Belgium forward Eden Hazard has announced his retirement from international football. The 31-year-old draws the curtain to an illustrious international career wherein he made 126 appearances for the Red Devils, scoring 33 goals.

Hazard ends his national team career as the second-highest goal scorer for Belgium, with only Romelu Lukaku (68) outsourcing the Real Madrid winger.

Having made his international debut against Luxembourg in November 2008, his best years for the country came in 2015 and 2018, where he scored six goals each. Interestingly enough, it took him four long years to open the goalscoring account for the team, having blanked in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

In an emotional statement released on his social media channels, the 31-year-old thanked the fans for their constant support, saying,

“A page turns today. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your unparalleled support. Thank you for all this happiness shared since 2008. I have decided to put an end to my international career. The succession is ready. I will miss you,” he wrote on his social media.

Hazard’s international career will mostly be remembered as a captain under whom Belgium topped the FIFA men’s ranking for the first time. Under his leadership, they became the longest-reigning team to have ever topped the world rankings.

Meanwhile, with that being done, Hazard can now focus on his Real Madrid career, which has been on a decline for a long. The 31-year-old is already way down the pecking order and if things remain the same, he is expected to depart at the end of the season.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool monitoring 19-year-old Bundesliga wonderkid – Romano



Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

According to Fabrizio Romano, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Liverpool are all monitoring Bayer Leverkusen and Germany wonderkid Florian Wirtz.

After recovering from his ACL injury, the teenage sensation has been slowly working his way back to his best form. So far this term, Wirtz has managed to rack up a tally of two goals and six assists from 13 matches in all competitions.

The 19-year-old’s talent and potential have never been in question and hence it does not come as a surprise that elite clubs such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Liverpool are all keeping tabs on the German international.

A versatile attacking midfielder, Wirtz is capable of playing anywhere in the final third of the pitch and backs up with top-notch end product. Be it as a false-nine or in a more withdrawn role, the youngster has excelled for Bayer Leverkusen, catching the attention of top teams.

Real Madrid, for their part, are also understood to be among Wirtz’s admirers. Given the situation surrounding Karim Benzema’s fitness and the lack of backup at the top, the youngster could be an option, as he has shown potential while operating through the middle.

But Barcelona also have a strong interest in the teenager with reports even suggesting that they have already made contact with his father to enquire about his situation.

At the same time, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is understood to be a huge admirer of his fellow German and with Roberto Firmino on his way out, Wirtz could be lined up as a possible replacement.

However, Romano adds that the expectation is that Wirtz could stay at Bayer Leverkusen for one more year and depart Germany once the UEFA Euro 2024 is out of the way.

For now, there have been talks or negotiations with any clubs, but Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool are all tracking Wirtz and his progress in Germany.

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