LONDON (AP) — England’s record scorer Ellen White announced her retirement from soccer Monday after saying her “dreams came true” when the Lionesses won the Women’s European Championship last month.
White scored 52 goals in 113 appearances for England’s national team.
The 33-year-old Manchester City striker said England’s Euro 2022 triumph made it the ideal time to retire.
“This has been one of the hardest decisions of my life but one that I know is the right decision for me,” White said. “This decision has always been one I have wanted to make on my terms. And this is my time to say goodbye to football and watch the next generation shine.
“It has been my greatest honor and privilege to play this game. In particular playing for England has and always will be the greatest gift.
“My dreams came true on July 31, winning the Euros and becoming a European Champion.”
White came through Arsenal’s academy but made her name at Chelsea, spending three years in the Blues’ senior ranks before heading to Leeds.
After returning to Arsenal, she also had stints at Notts County, Birmingham and Man City.
The Lionesses have been determined to capitalize on their success to force change at every sporting level, to boost sporting opportunities for girls and women.
And White urged future England hopefuls never to lose sight of their goals.
“This is for the next generation and potentially the next Lioness,” she said. “You don’t have to be the best at something to make your dreams come true, just look at me.
“Hard work, dedication, passion and love for what you do are a great recipe. Don’t ever let someone tell you ‘you can’t do something or achieve your dreams.’ I was once told I couldn’t play in the boys’ team and I would never play for England. Now I am retiring having made 113 caps with 52 goals for England and a European Champion.”
England head coach Sarina Wiegman paid tribute to a “world-class” operator, who played a vital role in the Euros triumph.
“Ellen has given so much for England and we are all so proud of her,” said Wiegman. “We will miss her, but I fully understand her decision to take a new direction.”
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