Monday 17 June 2019

'I think it is goodbye' - Eden Hazard confirms imminent Chelsea departure after Europa League final win

Final Act: Eden Hazard celebrates after scoring Chelsea’s final goal in their 4-1 victory over Arsenal in last night’s Europa League final in Baku. Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images
Final Act: Eden Hazard celebrates after scoring Chelsea’s final goal in their 4-1 victory over Arsenal in last night’s Europa League final in Baku. Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Eden Hazard has confirmed that he intends to leave Chelsea after he gave the club a perfect leaving gift by scoring twice in a convincing 4-1 victory in the Europa League final against Arsenal.

Hazard suggested earlier this month that he had made a decision over his Chelsea future, amid mounting speculation that Real Madrid are close to confirming a deal that will bring the Belgian international to the Spanish capital.

Now Hazard has confirmed publicly for the first time that he expects to leave Chelsea, after confirming talks over his transfer are under way.

"I think it is a goodbye, but in football you never know," Hazard told BT Sport. "My dream was to play in the Premier League and I have done that for one of the biggest clubs so maybe now it is the time for a new challenge.

"We will decide in a few days and the only target in my mind tonight was to win this final. I have made my decision already and now I'm waiting on both clubs."

Hazard saluted his team-mates as they saw off Arsenal with a four-goal blitz in the second half in Baku, as Blues boss Maurizio Sarri won the first major trophy of his career.

"I think both teams were playing with a bit of stress in the first half because it was a final, but when we scored, it was the beginning of a great night," he said. "We played well and controlled the game and I'm happy to leave this trophy with the boys. The manager said to carry on playing football at the break and today we showed our mentality."

Olivier Giroud admitted he had mixed emotions as he scored against his former club in the final, as he finished the Europa League as the competition's top scorer.

"These two clubs changed my life, they gave me the opportunity to play in the Premier League," said the French striker. "I didn't want to celebrate against Arsenal but I am so proud to win this trophy with Chelsea.

"When you give me the chance to get game time I always try my best. It was our second target to win the Europa League after finishing in the top four so I feel blessed.

"It was an interesting first half but there were no goals. It was a good final and we have been better, more efficient in the second half.

"I am very proud, this team deserved to win something. It was special for me, I am happy for this club. It's my second trophy in two years."

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