Real Madrid star, Eden Hazard has admitted that he ‘didn’t like’ playing for Belgium at the World Cup over their more ‘deserving’ new generation of players.
The former Chelsea star started Belgium’s first two games at the tournament in Qatar, as they crashed out at the group stage.
This is despite him featuring for Los Blancos only seven times this season, with just three starts in all competitions.
In an interview with Belgian publication, HLN, Hazard revealed that he made his decision to retire after the World Cup, following the European Championships in 2021.
He said: ‘I knew for some time that I would stop after the World Cup. 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 insisted he felt that a ‘new generation’ of Belgian players were more deserving to play at the World Cup than him.
He added: ‘Meanwhile, new guys knocked on the door with the national team. 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.’
The 32-year-old also said in his interview that he told his team-mates on the bus following their World Cup exit that he would retire from international duty.
Hazard then made the news public a short time later with a post on Instagram.
He wrote: ‘A page turns today… Thank you for your love. Thank you for your unparalleled support.