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Official: Eden Hazard announces retirement from international football

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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

UFC Champion to kick off Real Madrid vs Sevilla, sends message to Mbappe: “Lucky to play for the best club in the world”

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Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Coming on the back of his triumph at UFC, Featherweight champion Ilia Topuria has announced he will take honorary kick-off in the upcoming Real Madrid vs Sevilla in La Liga this weekend.

Topuria confirmed this in a recent press conference in the Spanish capital this midweek.

A self-proclaimed Madridista, Topuria expressed his deep connection with the club and even sent a message to Kylian Mbappe, who is widely expected to join the club on a free transfer this summer.

Ilia Topuria: A hardcore Madridista

Ilia Topuria did not hold back his affection for Real Madrid, stating, “For me, the team that represents the values ​​of Spain the most is Real Madrid.”

The Georgian-Spaniard UFC champion went on to confirm that he will meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off.

“I’m going to meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off,” he said (h/t Mundo Deportivo).

Topuria triumphed over Volkanovski last Saturday. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Although born in Germany, Topuria made Spain proud last Saturday when he beat Alexander Volkanovski in the second round. In the process, he became the first fighter from Spain to capture a UFC belt.

Topuria’s triumph has granted him overnight success in Spain, with the 27-year-old even becoming a cultural icon for many.

Topuria’s message for Mbappe

Other than professing his love for Real Madrid, Ilia Topuria also had a message for Mbappe.

When asked about the Frenchman potentially joining Real Madrid this summer, he said, “Welcome. He’s lucky to play for the best club in the world.”

Real Madrid, for their part, also congratulated Topuria on his triumph. “Congratulations on your historic triumph for Spanish sport, Ilia Topuria. We are proud that a great Real Madrid fan like you becomes UFC world champion,” the club posted on X.

Real Madrid fans, meanwhile, will be excited to witness Topuria taking the honorary kickoff as Los Blancos take on Sevilla this weekend, with three crucial points on the line.

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