Real Madrid winger Eden Hazard has opened up on how a lack of club football convinced him to retire from Belgium duty.
Hazard’s time in Madrid has been dominated by injuries and poor form, with the former Chelsea playmaker a shadow of the talismanic figure, which Real Madrid paid €100m for in 2019.
Hazard has openly admitted his frustration at an absence of a first team role with Los Blancos, as Carlo Ancelotti has effectively removed him from first team duty.
The 32-year-old has not played a single minute of La Liga or Champions League action since his return from the World Cup, despite being fit.
Hazard opted to step away from his position as Belgium captain, following their exit from the 2022 World Cup, with ongoing speculation over his next career move.
“I couldn’t see myself not playing at Real Madrid, and then getting to the national team, and playing”, as per an interview with RTBF, reported via Diario AS.
“Not playing at Real, then joining the Red Devils and playing. I didn’t like that idea, especially as the new generation deserves to play.
“I will not return for Belgium, I’m 100% sure. I can’t see myself doing it. It’s never been in my head.
“I have many other things to do, such as spending more time with my children, with my family. I don’t see myself backing down on my decision on a whim.”
Hazard is set for crucial talks with the Real Madrid hierarchy this summer, with a year left on his contract in the Spanish capital, as the club remain determined to secure a fee for the 32-year-old, to avoid a Gareth Bale-style free transfer exit in 2024.