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Eden Hazard retires from international football

Captain of Belgium’s national team, Eden Hazard has announced his retirement from international football.

Only days after Belgium’s group stage elimination in Qatar, Hazard decided to call time on international duty after 14 years, saying he has now put his sole focus into his Real Madrid career.

“Today, I turned a page. Thanks for your love,’ Hazard wrote on Instagram.

“Thank you for your unparalleled support. Thank you for all the joyful moments we have shared since 2008.

“Today I decided to put an end to my career as an international. The next generation is ready. I’m going to miss you so much.”

Belgian newspaper, Het Laatste Nieuws reported that Hazard discussed the intention of retiring from the national team with his teammates in the immediate aftermath of their final group match against Croatia.

The encounter that broke the proverbial camel’s back was most probably Belgium’s 2-0 defeat by Morocco in their second group game, which attracted profound criticism from the national media and fans.

Hazard, 35, made his Belgium debut as a 17-year-old phenomenon, coming on against Luxembourg on November 19, 2008.

Calling time on his Belgium career after Qatar, the ex-Chelsea FC forward has gone on to win 126 international caps, scoring 33 goals and adding 36 assists.

He also wore the captain’s armband 56 times for his country.

Writing by Fany Olumoye; Editing by Tony Okerafor