Jill Scott, England’s second-highest capped player, has announced her retirement from football.
The 35-year-old spent last season on loan with Aston Villa from Manchester City. Apart from 161 caps she has earned for the national team, she has made nearly 250 league appearances.
Scott said in the Players’ Tribune: “I may be saying my goodbyes to football, but we’re going to make this a celebration. No sad faces!! We’ve had too much fun for any tears.
“Imagine, if you would have told me that I’d go on to play for England for 16 years?
“If you would have told me that I’d live to see 90,000 people packed into Wembley Stadium for a women’s European final? And that I’d be playing in it? Impossible.”
England manager Sarina Wiegman said the Lionesses will miss Scott’s presence but insists the former midfielder still has plenty to offer the game in her days after professional football.
“I must congratulate Jill Scott on a very special career,” Wiegman said. “I am so glad she was able to end on such a positive memory. It will be hard to imagine an England squad without her as she has been an icon of the team for so long.
“I respect her decision, but we will miss her positive impact on and off of the pitch for sure.
“She still has a huge amount to offer, so I hope she won’t be lost to the women’s game. In the future – whatever that role may be. She is a very special person, and although it was only for a short period, I feel privileged to have had the chance to work with her.”