In an interview with Belgium media outlet HLN, Real Madrid attacker Eden Hazard has confirmed his departure from the Belgium National Team — a decision he ultimately made in private after the European Championships, long before the World Cup even started.
“I knew for some time that I would stop after the World Cup,” Hazad said. “The performance in Qatar was not decisive for my decision. Of course it is a pity how it turned out, but my decision was made in advance. It was just time to stop.
“I first started thinking about it after the European Championships. I had done my best to be fit in time after my ankle injury. Unfortunately, I couldn’t play in the quarter-final loss to Italy and that really made a mental difference.
“I also play football in Madrid with Toni Kroos. He quit the German national team two years ago and he told me that when others have international commitments, he could take advantage of that time to enjoy with his family.”
Hazard also stated that he didn’t feel right playing over some of the ‘deserving’ younger players.
“Meanwhile, new guys knocked on the door with the national team,” Hazard explained. “Not playing at Real, then joining the Red Devils and playing football. I didn’t like that, especially because the new generation deserves to play.”
Later on Instagram, Hazard confirmed his decision again, stating: “A page turns today... Thank you for your love. Thank you for your unparalleled support. Thank you for all this happiness shared since 2008. I have decided to put an end to my international career. The succession is ready. I will miss you.”