Just in – Christopher Nkunku sends clear Eden Hazard message after retirement with Chelsea challenge
Christopher Nkunku is the latest in a line of current and former players to play tribute to Eden Hazard’s fantastic career after the former Chelsea winger retired in a shock announcement on Monday. Just over four years since departing Stamford Bridge the Belgian international called time on his playing days.
Writing in a statement made online, the enigmatic winger and joyful character said: “You must listen to yourself and say stop at the right time. After 16 years and more than 700 matches played, I have decided to end my career as a professional footballer.
“I was able to realise my dream, I have played and had fun on many pitches around the world. During my career I was lucky to meet great managers, coaches and teammates – thank you to everyone for these great times, I will miss you all.”
Hazard decided to hang up his boots after terminating his contract with Real Madrid one year early, not seeing out the entirety of his five year deal. Having moved from Stamford Bridge to Los Blancos in 2019 for over £100million, things stalled massively with injuries and form halting his career.
That isn’t the Hazard that most remember though and instead it is the player with 144 goals and 109 assists in less than 500 games before the age of 27 that lives long in the memory. Even numbers like that don’t do the player justice though with Hazard’s comedic timing and happy-go-lucky freedom drawing in fans and spectators from across the world more than anything.
It has led to messages flooding in from players both past and present, rivals and teammates, friends and occassionally foe. Hazard was one of the most feared players of his generation, scoring over 200 career goals, winning league titles in three countries and making his name as one of the good guys in the game.