Eden Hazard has acknowledged that he did not enjoy playing for the Belgium team during the 2022 World Cup due to feeling unworthy of his position, given the ongoing challenges he was facing at Real Madrid.
Despite having only played in seven matches for his club this season, the 32-year-old striker assumed the role of captain for his country once again in Qatar, as Roberto Martinez trusted his proven abilities. While Eden Hazard was pleased to get away from his issues at Santiago Bernabeu when traveling to the Middle East, he acknowledges that there were younger, more deserving players who should have received more playing time than him.
The new generation deserves to play
He told HLN: “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.”
Hazard reached 126 international appearances during a major tournament, but has now decided to retire from playing for his country. He confirmed that he had made the decision to retire before the World Cup and that the team’s performance in Qatar did not influence his decision.
He added: “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.”