EDEN HAZARD has announced his retirement from international duty following Belgium's group stage exit at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The former Chelsea star was benched in his side's last game against Croatia, where a 0-0 draw saw them come crashing out of the tournament.

Taking to Instagram, Hazard revealed his retirement from the national stage.

He wrote: "A page turns today… Thank you for your love.

"Thank you for your unparalleled support. Thank you for all this happiness shared since 2008.

"I have decided to put an end to my international career. The succession is ready. I will miss you."

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  • Kostas Lianos

    Barcelona target Martinelli

    Barcelona are scouting Arsenal ace Gabriel Martinelli during the 2022 World Cup with his contract nearing its end.

    Barca are believed to be considering a move for Martinelli as it would be hoped he could be bought at a cut-price deal this coming summer.

    The forward’s contract at the Emirates runs out in 2024, meaning he would be able to leave the Gunners for free in a year and a half.

    The Brazil international’s three appearances at the World Cup have caught the eye of the Blaugrana, who labelled him as a “favourite” of the club’s sporting department as well as coaching staff, according to Sport.

    The Spanish outlet has suggested that Martinelli will be watched closely by the Catalans as they consider making a move for him at the end of the season

    Credit: Getty
  • Kostas Lianos

    Eden Hazard RETIRES

    Belgium star Eden Hazard has retired from international football aged 31 after his national team flopped in the 2022 World Cup by going out in the group stage.

    Real Madrid ace Hazard earned 126 caps for his country, scoring 33 goals along the way.

    Taking to Instagram to confirm his decision, the winger wrote: "A page turns today… Thank you for your love.

    "Thank you for your unparalleled support. Thank you for all this happiness shared since 2008.

    "I have decided to put an end to my international career. The succession is ready. I will miss you…"

  • Kostas Lianos

    Liverpool favourites for Bellingham

    Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham could be on his way to Liverpool next summer after they emerged as the frontrunners to sign him.

    According to Christian Falk, the Reds have surged ahead in the race to land Bellingham with talks at a more advanced stage with them than with Real Madrid.

    Falk also revealed that the midfielder’s family are more convinced by the prospect of a move to Merseyside than they are to Madrid.

    The 19-year-old himself appears to have struck up a rapport with the Reds’ skipper Jordan Henderson while on England duty at the 2022 World Cup

  • Kostas Lianos

    PSG target Bellingham

    Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi claims every top club wants to sign England international Jude Bellingham.

    Borussia Dortmund star Bellingham faces France in Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final clash.

    Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Chelsea and even Arsenal have been tipped to come on for the 19-year-old sensation in the summer.

    Al-Khelaifi told Sky Sports: “Everybody wants him. I’m not going to hide it.

    “Amazing player. What a player. He’s one of the best players in the tournament.

    “First World Cup, and calm and relaxed, confident – amazing”

  • Kostas Lianos

    Ron his own

    Cristiano Ronaldo left his team-mates celebrating on the pitch as he walked down the tunnel at the end of Portugal's 6-1 win over Switzerland.

    Ronaldo was dropped by manager Fernando Santos after throwing a strop following his substitution against South Korea in the group stage.

    Santos was not happy with the Portugal captain's behaviour and left him on the bench, instead handing a first ever international start to Goncalo Ramos, who scored a hat-trick.

    However, Ronaldo, who came on as a substitute, was spotted among his team-mates celebrating during the match before heading down the tunnel

    Credit: Rex
  • Kostas Lianos

    More on Mbappe

    As mentioned earlier, Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe didn't train with France on Tuesday ahead of Saturday's World Cup quarter-final clash with England.

    Journalist Julien Laurens gave the latest update on Mbappe's fitness following his training absence and insists the star striker is "not injured or tired or struggling".

    Laurens tweeted, "Kylian Mbappé is not training with the France squad.

    "He is indoors for a recovery session which was always the plan. He is not injured or tired or struggling!"

  • Kostas Lianos

    Kylian Mbappe situation

    Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe missed France's training session on Tuesday ahead of Saturday's World Cup quarter-final clash with England.

    Reports suggest that is currently simply a precaution taken by French manager Didier Deschamps.

    Mbappe is one of the best players in the 2022 World Cup following some stunning performances.

    The star striker currently counts five goals and two assists in four games

  • Jack Figg

    Round-up ahead of quarter-finals  

    Cristiano Ronaldo’s replacement Goncalo Ramos gloriously notched the first halt-trick of the World Cup as the quarter-final line-up was settled.

    Benfica striker Ramos had only played 33 minutes of international football in four games off the bench before destroying Switzerland in his first start.

    Portugal's 6-1 margin of victory accurately reflected their superiority as they outdid Brazil's 4-1 demolition of South Korea for the best performance of the tournament so far.

    Dropped Ron beamed as he shared the delight of the Portuguese bench during the romp before he came on at 5-1 up.

    But he's unlikely to start Sunday afternoon's last-eight clash with Morocco.

    The North Africans punished Spain's failure to turn dominant possession into goals with a 3-0 shootout win following a goalless 120 minutes.

    Now, though Qatar takes a break until Friday's action.
    Croatia face Brazil at 3pm that day and Holland meet Argentina four hours later.

    Then on Saturday it's Morocco vs Portugal at 3pm and England vs France at 7pm.

    Kylian Mbappe missed French training yesterday but it's not yet been revealed why.

    Finally, PSG have publicly admitted they want England midfield hero Jude Bellingham, 19.

    Club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said: "I'm not gonna hide it, everybody wants Bellingham."

  • Ian Tuckey

    Ron his own

    Cristiano Ronaldo left his team-mates celebrating on the pitch as he walked down the tunnel at the end of Portugal's win over Switzerland.

    Portugal won 6-1 in the last-16 clash to set up a tie with Morocco.

    Ronaldo was dropped by manager Fernando Santos after throwing a strop following his substitution against South Korea.

    Santos was not happy with his captain's behaviour and left him on the bench, instead handing a first ever international start to Goncalo Ramos.

    The switch paid off as Ramos scored a hat-trick as Ronaldo watched on from the dugout.

    The superstar was brought on with 17 minutes left with his side already 5-1 up.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Thumb lift of the Gab

    Gabriel Jesus has posted a smiling thumbs-up picture and vowed to be "back stronger" as he begins what could be a long recovery from a knee injury.

    The Arsenal striker returned home early from Brazil's World Cup bid after a knock in their final group game against Cameroon.

    But he looked positive as he told fans on social media: "God is wonderful. I will be back stronger."

    Jesus could be out for up to three months but the Gunners hope he'll return much sooner.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Jude's a 'dog of war'

    Jude Bellingham warned England’s World Cup rivals: I’m the dog of war!

    The teenage sensation is ready to show France his bite is worse than his bark when the Three Lions unleash him in Saturday’s quarter-final.

    Bellingham, 19, is now the most wanted midfielder on the planet after his superb displays in Qatar — with French giants Paris Saint-Germain last night declaring their interest.

    And Borussia Dortmund star Bellingham said: “I go into games knowing every one is a war and you’ve got to be up for it.

    “When you’ve got the dog, you’re just born with it. The way I was raised in football, you had to have that dog in you.

    “That’s something I have. Off the pitch I’m a nice guy but, on it, something takes over me.

    “I feel like you’ve got no friends out there except those wearing the same kit.

    “Anyone not wearing that — it’s no beef — but there is something that’s personal.”

    Prem top dogs Liverpool and Manchester City, plus Real Madrid, are already tracking Bellingham.

    But PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi says they will join the race for the ex-Birmingham whizkid.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Oui Lions! Mbappe transformed into England fan…

    England supporters living in Paris cheered on The Sun yesterday — as French superstar Kylian Mbappe was transformed into one of them.

    We landed the first blow ahead of Saturday night’s last-eight tie — draping Mbappe’s waxwork in England colours.

    There was more bad news for France yesterday as Mbappe, 23, missed training with a suspected ankle inury, sparking fears he could miss the quarter-final.

    Sun man Joe Hadden yesterday evaded security at Paris’s Grevin Museum to deck out the striker’s effigy in a Three Lions scarf and hat, with a St George's flag wrapped around his waist.

    English ex-pats in Paris said Mbappe’s Three Lions makeover suited the £250million PSG striker, who has banged in five goals already in the tournament.

    Property developer Kyle Bridges, 37, who has lived in the French capital for two years, said: “That’s brilliant work by The Sun. They’ve been giving us loads of stick so we’ve got to give it back to them.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    Who is Goncalo Ramos?

    Goncalo Ramos became the World Cup’s latest star with a stunning hat-trick in Tuesday’s 6-1 win over Switzerland.

    The striker, 21, made headlines before the game when he replaced Cristiano Ronaldo as Portugal’s striker for the one-sided last-16 tie.

    And Ramos showed the future is bright for his country by scoring an incredible treble to set up a quarter-final battle against Morocco.

    Already linked with Manchester United, he's been withhome country club Benfica since 2013. And he has truly exploded this season, scoring 14 times in just 21 appearances.

    That saw Ramos land a shock call-up to Portugal’s World Cup squad, having previously been uncapped. He made his debut on November 17 in a 4-0 friendly win over Nigeria, helping himself to a goal and an assist.

    Ramos then came off the bench in the first two group games against African giants Ghana and South American heavyweight Uruguay.

    But he earned his first World Cup start on Tuesday against Switzerland – at the expense of national hero Ronaldo.

    Ramos showed no signs of fear though, opening the scoring after 17 minutes before hitting two more in the second half.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Kyle can Kyl the danger

    HARRY REDKNAPP: IF I had to pick one defender in the world to handle Kylian Mbappe, I could not think of a better right-back than Kyle Walker.

    And he might just turn out to be the one who holds the key to England reaching their second World Cup semi-final in a row.

    You need someone special to deal with a player like that — and Kyle is the perfect man for the job. I know exactly how good he is because I was his manager for three years at Tottenham. He’s an even better player now.

    He’s quick, strong and as tough a man to beat one-on-one as anyone. In short, the ideal man to cope with Mbappe’s speed and power.

    But Walker might just be England’s secret attacking weapon down the right wing as well — if he chooses the right moments to bomb forward.

    Mbappe is not a modern wide player who you’ll see charging back to help his defence. When he loses possession he tends to hang about the halfway line waiting for France to win it back and get it up to him again.

    As a right-back, that leaves you with a decision to make — can I trust my winger if I do go? Well in Walker’s case, when the moment is right he definitely CAN trust Bukayo Saka, because he’s such a clever player.

    If you’ve got a scatterbrain up there, you worry about going on the overlap because if they lose possession, you’re going to get punished by someone as good as Mbappe.

    But Saka’s a good player, he knows how to protect the ball and find Kyle at just the right time — and that’s how we can open France up down the right-hand side.

    So while the big danger lies down Mbappe’s flank, it’s an area where we can hurt France as much as they can hurt us.


  • Ian Tuckey

    ‘Sneaky sods’ in for Jude!

    Gary Neville reckons England’s stars from Liverpool and Manchester City are laying ground work to try and sign midfield sensation Jude Bellingham.

    He joked that “sneaky little sods” Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Phil Foden are all cosying up to the Borussia Dortmund ace while on World Cup duty.

    Liverpool captain Henderson and Bellingham are good pals – despite the 13-year age gap between the pair.

    Elsewhere Reds fans were sent into meltdown when Alexander-Arnold shared a snap of the pair together after they went for a stroll together in Qatar.

    While Manchester United legend Neville also claimed City ace Foden was getting close to Bellingham. And the pundit doesn’t believe it to be a coincidence.

    Neville told Sky: “The whole thing unnerves me!

    “When I was in the camp sort of 15 years ago, I used to sort of get close to [Wayne] Rooney, close to Rio Ferdinand. All those players you thought you could just grab.

    “Now you see Phil Foden next to Jude Bellingham, you see Trent Alexander-Arnold going for a walk with him, you see Jordan Henderson cuddling up to him at the end of the game.

    “And you think ‘you sneaky little sods’, I know what you’re trying to do, you lot’.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    Ana speaks out on Messi vs Ronaldo

    Ana Maria Markovic, who has been dubbed the world's most beautiful footballer, has had her say on the Lionel Messi versus Cristiano Ronaldo debate.

    The discussion over who is the greatest player of all-time has rumbled on throughout both legends' careers with opinion split amongst fans.

    But the Croatian has revealed who she thinks is better when asked on Twitter.

    She replied with CR7's name alongside a goat emoji. She also said "there's only one number seven" despite herself wearing the number seven shirt.

    This is not the first time she has spoken about her admiration for the 37-year-old former Manchester United star.

    Markovic told 20Minuten previously: "My absolute favourite player is Cristiano Ronaldo because he's just so disciplined.

    "I think it's super important that you give your all in sport and have a good mindset like him."

    She also said that she admires fellow Croatian Luka Modric and from the women's game Ramona Bachman.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Ram shows Ron not needed

    Goncalo Ramos dominates the action headlines on the final day of last-16 games.

    Cristiano Ronaldo's replacement notched a truly classy hat-trick in Portugal's 6-1 defeat of Switzerland.

    Ramos' triple and the scoreline were no fluke as the Portuguese turned in arguably the most confident, attack-minded display of the tournament so far.

    Portugal now face Morocco, who beat Spain 3-0 on penalties after 120 minutes without goals.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Last-8 line-up complete after Portugal romp

    Portugal's 6-1 destruction of Switzerland completes the line-up for the World Cup semi-finals.

    Friday: Croatia vs Brazil 3pm, Holland vs Argentina 7pm.

    Saturday: Morocco vs Portugal 3pm, England vs France 7pm.

  • Ian Tuckey

    GOAL: Portugal 6 Switzerland 1

    Swiss misery is completed in stoppage time with a sublime goal from Rafael Leao.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Ronaldo on after 73 minutes

    Cristiano Ronaldo gets a huge roar when he comes on amid a triple substitution.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Here's how Ramos completed his treble

    Goncalo Ramos showed a cool head Cristiano Ronaldo would be proud of to round off a hat-trick on his first full appearance for Portugal.

    Credit: Getty
  • Ian Tuckey

    Latest: Portugal 5 Switzerland 1

    Ramos's third goal midway through the second half was perhaps his classiest of the night.

    Slipped in on the right, he took the ball on effortlessly with tight control before dinking it over the diving keeper.

    Portugal still look relentless – enjoying their rhythm and dominance so much.

  • Ian Tuckey

    HAT-TRICK! Portugal 5 Switzerland 1

    Ramos nips in on 67 minutes for a superb treble.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Georgina smiles on as Ron waits on bench

    Georgina Rodriguez was seen smiling in the stands during Portugal's World Cup romp against Switzerland – despite her partner Cristiano Ronaldo being dropped.

    She was seen in the Lusali Stadium wearing a black dress and jacket while holding a luxury handbag.

    Georgina had a shock when she arrived at the stadium as Ronaldo was named on the substitutes bench after he was replaced in the team by Goncalo Ramos for the last-16 World Cup clash with Switzerland.

    It comes after Ronaldo's falling out with manager Fernando Santos.

    The boss subbed him off against South Korea and the 37-year-old appeared to sulk muttering under his breath.

    Santos revealed that he was unhappy with the 194-cap star saying: "Yes, I didn’t like it, not at all. I didn’t like it. I really didn’t like it."

    Ronaldo has netted just once at the World Cup so far, converting a controversially won penalty in the 3-2 victory over Ghana.

    He believed he had scored another but Fifa awarded the goal against Uruguay to Bruno Fernandes as they deemed that Ronaldo had not touched it.

    The former Manchester United man continues to make the headlines since his explosive interview with Piers Morgan that led to him departing Old Trafford. Ronaldo is currently without a club but has been heavily linked with Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Latest: Portugal 4 Switzerland 1

    The Portuguese display is arguably the performance of the tournament so far.

    Manuel Akanji scrambled what will surely be just a consolation for the Swiss but Portugal look capable and motivated enough to score again.

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