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Eden Hazard: Why Belgian Turned Down Lucrative Saudi Move Before Retirement
- Eden Hazard announced his retirement from football in October 2023
- The Belgian admitted he lost passion for the game after an injury-filled period
- John Obi-Mikel has now claimed Hazard opened up to him about lucrative offers he received
Former Super Eagles midfielder John Obi Mikel has come out to reveal Eden Hazard’s take on some of the offers he received before announcing his retirement.
After several disappointing seasons with Real Madrid, Hazard was released by the Spanish club and announced his retirement weeks after being plagued by injuries.
But Hazard, touted as one of the most talented players of his generation, had career options before he hung his boots, and there were rumours he could return to the Premier League.
According to Obi Mikel, who played alongside the Belgian for five years at Stamford Bridge, Hazard also received lucrative offers from Saudi Arabia but ultimately turned them down.
Hazard was uninterested in money
While speaking on Rio Ferdinand's Vibe with Five YouTube show, Mikel divulged his conversation with Hazard.
'[Hazard asked,] "Should I go to Saudi Arabia, where I’m going to take a million a week and then what?"' Mikel said.
"I got about two or three offers to go to Saudi Arabia".
The former midfielder went on to reveal Hazard admitted to him that money was not a big motivating factor for him, hence why he did not take up offers from the Middle East.
He added: 'He (Hazard) said, "Mikel, I’ve got a lot of money. You know how I live my life. I don’t spend too much money. So, I have money now to live with my family and to bring up [my children]"'.
If Hazard had moved to the Saudi Pro League, he would have joined the likes of Neymar, Benzema, Roberto Firmino, N’golo Kante and the most famous of the bunch Cristiano Ronaldo, in becoming another high-profile name to play there.
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In his Instagram message in October, Hazard explained that he “listened to himself” when concluding that he wanted to retire.
“You must listen to yourself and say stop at the right time.' Hazard wrote, saying that he was able to realize his dream.
“After 16 years and more than 700 matches played, I have decided to end my career as a professional footballer."
Hazard on why he is always injured
Sports Brief also reported Eden Hazard’s take on why he was always injured.
The former Chelsea winger was signed by Los Blancos in 2019, but his time at the club turned out to be quite a nightmare.
Hazard explained to former teammate John Obi Mikel that his injuries were due to his high efforts in training.