Eden Hazard has revealed he isn't ready to call time on his football career just yet, having recently left Real Madrid as a free agent a year early by mutual consent.
Hazard enjoyed an outstanding career at Lille and Chelsea, helping the former to a French league and cup double in 2011 and going on to win six major trophies in seven years with the latter.
For much of the 2010s, the Belgian winger was considered one of the best players in the world.
He was coming off the back of his best goalscoring season with Chelsea – 21 goals in all competitions – and had been instrumental in the club’s Europa League success. But injury delayed his debut in Madrid and a string of ongoing problems went on to define the next three years.
All in all, Hazard managed only 76 appearances and seven goals for Real. By the 2022/23 season, the 32-year-old seemed to have put his injury hell behind him. Yet, with his best form also long in the past, he was, more often than not, an unused substitute for a new look Real side.
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But Hazard is defiant about what comes next, amusingly suggesting that his time with Los Blancos amounted to a ‘rest’ that will allow him to carry on his career somewhere else, rather than go down the route of relatively early retirement like former teammate Gareth Bale.
"I still feel capable of being a professional footballer. I've been resting for two or three years. I still have a bit of energy," he told Belgian broadcaster RTBF after being a guest of honour at Belgium’s 1-1 draw with Austria in Brussels six month after his international retirement.
But, as far as deciding what the next step will be, Hazard is yet to make up his mind and suggested recent links with Saudi Arabia and little-known Belgian club RWD Molenbeek are wide of the mark.
"Honestly, I don't know yet," he said. "After three complicated years [2019 to 2022], I just want to spend time with my family, go on vacation, like everyone. We've read a lot of stuff in the last few days, and a lot of nonsense."
On this week's edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Toby Cudworth is joined by Graeme Bailey and Sean Walsh to discuss the latest transfer news. On the agenda is future of Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi's shock move to Inter Miami, Declan Rice's proposed Arsenal deal, Tottenham's summer plans and more.
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