Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard was regarded as one of the world's best and most exciting players during his seven-year stay at Chelsea. Phil Noble/Reuters

Eden Hazard has called time on his playing career at the age of 32 with the former Chelsea star choosing to do so after leaving Real Madrid this past summer through the agreement of a mutual contract termination with the club.

Hazard announced his retirement from football on Tuesday with an Instagram post that read: "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. Thank you to everyone for these great times, I will miss you all."

Hazard began his senior career at Ligue 1 side, Lille, where he helped them to a domestic double in the 2010/11 season and in doing so became one of the most sought-after young players amongst Europe's top clubs. His last two seasons at Lille also saw him win the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award twice.

Despite having offers from Manchester United and Manchester City, Hazard decided to choose Chelsea as his next destination in 2012, moving for a transfer fee of £32 million. The Belgian international became an instant success in the Premier League and he went on to win two Premier League titles during his stay at Stamford Bridge.

Domestically, he also won an FA Cup and League Cup, whilst in Europe, he managed to win two UEFA Europa League titles. The Europa League final between Chelsea and Arsenal in 2019 was Hazard's final game for the club, where he scored a brace in a 4-1 win over the Gunners in Baku.

Despite this, Hazard's success at Chelsea was not just from a silverware perspective, but also from his all-round play and performances, as he became one of the Premier League's most entertaining and exciting players to watch on a weekly basis. This saw him regarded as one of the world's very best players during his time at Chelsea.

Hazard's brilliant displays saw him rack up many individual awards during his stay in England, with the 2014/15 season seeing him win the FWA Footballer of the Year, Premier League Player of the Season and PFA Players' Player of the Year. Also, he made it into the PFA Premier League Team of the Year on four occasions during his seven seasons at Chelsea.

Hazard departed Chelsea in 2019 to join Spanish giants, Real Madrid, in a mega move worth up to £130 million. However, Hazard could not replicate his performances from his Chelsea days after signing for Real Madrid as he regularly struggled with injuries and form during his time at the club.

His spell in Spain was a very disappointing one as he managed to score just seven goals in 76 appearances across four seasons. The Belgian did win seven trophies during his time in Madrid, including the UEFA Champions League and two La Liga titles, but his contribution was not particularly significant to any of Real Madrid's success.

On the international stage, Hazard had success as he scored 33 goals in 126 appearances for Belgium and featured at three FIFA World Cups and two UEFA European Championships.

The 2018 World Cup was his best performance at a major tournament as he scored three goals, got two assists and received three man-of-the-match awards in Belgium's run to the semi-final, where they lost 1-0 to France. Hazard's displays at the tournament earned him the Silver Ball, recognising him as the second-best player at the 2018 World Cup.

Hazard's retirement has led to plenty of tributes throughout the footballing world with many celebrating his career achievements. However, there has been some discussion on whether or not Hazard completely fulfilled his potential and whether his poor period at Real Madrid and retirement at 32 brings a slight stain on his legacy.

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher offered his take on Twitter about Hazard's career amidst the debate over what his legacy looks like. He stated: "He (Hazard) was the best player in the Premier League for four years. Won PFA Young Player, PFA Player & FWP of the Year awards."

Carragher added: "He won every trophy at Chelsea except the Champions League. He was in my eyes the best performer at the 2018 World Cup when Belgium finished third. An all-time @premierleague great no doubt and would be in a lot of all-time 11s!"

Hazard bows out of the game having scored 200 goals and registering 193 assists for club and country and having made 748 appearances in his professional career.