Eden Hazard (32) has announced his international retirement following Belgium’s disappointing 2022 World Cup, whilst Belgium’s national team boss Roberto Martinez handed in his resignation after the Red Devils exited Qatar in the group stage.
Belgium’s assistant coach, Thierry Henry, could have replaced the departing Martinez, recently appointed as Portugal’s national team boss. However, the legendary France forward did not apply for the job and former RB Leipzig boss Domenico Tedesco got the nod from the Belgian FA.
The outcome took Hazard by surprise. “I expected it to be Thierry Henry”, Hazard told RTBF. “I understand the path taken by the national team and the desire to close the Martinez chapter and move on.” The Real Madrid player has reiterated he would not wear the Belgian jersey anymore.
The former Lille and Chelsea playmaker scored 33 goals in 126 games for Belgium. He admitted that he did not know who Tedesco was. “I spoke with the German players at Real Madrid and they told me he is a very good coach”, Hazard said. He cheekily added that Tedesco can only do well with Belgium because “there is still a Hazard (his younger brother Thorgan) in the team.“
Tedesco will name his first Belgium squad on Friday with the Red Devils kicking off their campaign to qualify for the Germany-hosted Euro 2024. Belgium will face Sweden in Stockholm on Friday, March 24th and play Germany on March 28th for a friendly game in Cologne.
GFFN | Bastien Cheval