Chelsea and England star Karen Carney will retire from all football after Saturday’s Women’s World Cup bronze medal playoff, where the Lionesses will face Sweden in an attempt to equal their finish from four years ago.
The Birmingham-born winger has played 143 times for England over the course of a career which took her to Arsenal, Chelsea and the Chicago Red Stars via two spells at hometown club Birmingham City.
“I am incredibly proud to have achieved so much in the game, but now is definitely the time to retire. To have played for England was my ultimate ambition and to do so at four World Cups and represent Team GB at a home Olympics was beyond the wildest dreams I had when first starting out.
“I would like to thank everyone who has made this all possible, from my family and friends, everyone I have played for and worked with and, of course, the England squad and staff. I owe everything I have to all of them.”
England head coach Phil Neville added: “Karen deserves all the plaudits that will come her way. It has been a privilege to work with her over the past 18 months, but even more special has been the chance to get to know someone who is an incredible person and a special teammate.
“While she will not want a fuss, Karen is someone who deserves total recognition and respect as a true legend of the game.”
Carney has made three substitute appearances at the World Cup this summer, and could yet get her first start of the tournament on Saturday in Nice.