End of an era: Eden Hazard ends his international career
After more than a decade of service for the Belgian national football team, Eden Hazard is putting an end to his career as a Red Devil. Let’s look back on his international career.
Hazard has had football coursing through his blood since the day he was born, the son of two former footballers (Carine and Thierry Hazard). His club career began as early as four years old at RS Brainois. It should then come as no surprise that Eden represented Belgium for the first time at a young age as well, starting his international career with the under-17 and under-19 teams.
Hazard’s debut with the Red Devils came on 18 November 2008, when he was just 17 years old, coming in as a substitute for Wesley Sonck in the 67th minute of a match against Luxembourg. After this very first game for the Red Devils, young Hazard would stun crowds with his fast accelerations and numerous assists.
Eden scored his first of many goals for the Red Devils on 7 October 2011 in a 4-1 victory against Kazakhstan.
Hazard had a total of 126 caps (only Jan Vertonghen, Axel Witsel and Toby Alderweireld have been called up more often for the national team) and scored 33 goals. He represented the country in three FIFA World Cups and two UEFA European Championships.
Belgium has another reason to be proud of Eden Hazard when it comes to his contributions to the national squad: former manager Marc Wilmots entrusted his star player with the captain’s armband for the first time in 2015 and he has worn it a record-breaking 59 times over his international career.
The captain has stood out even within a golden generation of Belgian footballers with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Thibaut Courtois and Romelu Lukaku. He has been of immeasurable value to the Red Devils and, by extension, to Belgium.
We wish him the best of luck with his club career and still secretly hope he will come out of retirement one day, at the top of his game, and make us proud once again.
Thank you, Eden!