Madrid: Real Madrid has announced the signing of forward Eden Hazard, who leaves Chelsea after seven seasons that saw him win six trophies and a slew of individual honours, including the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year award for 2014-2015.
The 28-year-old Belgian is under contract with Los Blancos until June 30, 2024, the club said on Friday, adding that Hazard will be presented as a Real Madrid player on June 13 after undergoing a medical examination, reports Efe news.
Real Madrid agreed to pay Chelsea a transfer fee of roughly 100 million euros ($113 million).
Hazard declined during the season to renew his contract with the Blues, which was set to expire in June 2020, and made it clear he was ready to embark on a new phase in his career.
The Belgian, described by his new team as “one of the best footballers in the world”, is Real Madrid’s third signing since the end of the 2018-2019 LaLiga season, joining Eder Militao and Luka Jovic.
Another player, Brazil’s Rodrygo Goes, is set to join the Blancos over the summer on a deal reached a year ago.
Hazard scored 110 goals in 352 appearances for Chelsea, including a brace in the Blues’ 4-1 victory over Arsenal in the May 29 Europa League final.
It was a fitting end to his time with the London side, as Chelsea also won the Europa League in Hazard’s first season with the squad.
The Blues hoisted the Premier League trophy twice during Hazard’s tenure – in 2015 and 2017 – and the FA Cup in 2018. They claimed the League Club in 2015.
Hazard was the captain of the Belgium team that finished third in the 2018 World Cup and received the Silver Ball as the second-best player in the tournament.
“Although it is with sadness we say goodbye to Eden and we made it absolutely clear to him the club wished him to stay, we respect the decision he has made to take on a new challenge in a different country and follow his childhood dream of playing for Real Madrid,” Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said in a statement.
Following the announcement, Hazard bid farewell to Chelsea fans in a message posted to his Facebook page.
“You now know that I will be joining Real Madrid. It’s no secret that it was my dream to play for them since I was a young boy just scoring my first goal,” he wrote.
“Now the Clubs have reached an agreement I hope you understand I had to pursue my next chapter, just as each and every one of you should when you have the chance to pursue your dreams.
“Chelsea and especially Chelsea fans will always be special to me and next season I will look for your results first. I hope that we are drawn against each other in the Champions League next season and every season so we can meet again,” he added.