Ellen White: England Euro 2022 winner and Manchester City star announces shock retirement

The Lionesses striker is her country's record goalscorer and scored two goals in their Euro 2022 triumph in the summer.

Ellen White celebrates with the fans and family following her teams victory in the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 Semi Final (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Ellen White celebrates with the fans and family following her teams victory in the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 Semi Final (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

England and Manchester City forward Ellen White has confirmed her shock retirement from football at the age of 33.

The striker is one of the most recognisable faces in women’s football, having been capped a total of 113 times by her country since scoring on her debut in 2010 against Austria.

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Citizens striker White is the Lionesses record goalscorer, having scored 52 senior international goals for her country, two of which came in this summer’s Euros, where she started all six of England's matches on their road to tournament success.

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White, who is second only to Wayne Rooney on 53 in the England goalscoring charts, had a year left on her contract at Manchester City, but has taken the decision to retire from the sport in order to ‘take a new direction.’

On the news of her retirement, England head coach Sarina Wiegman said: “Ellen has given so much for England and we are all so proud of her.

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"I have only had the pleasure of working with her for this past year, but her professionalism, work rate and finishing ability is world-class.

"We will miss her, but I fully understand her decision to take a new direction.”

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Ellen White lifts the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 trophy. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images)

Why has Ellen White retired?

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In a four page open letter posted via her official Twitter account, White wrote: "This has been one of the hardest decisions in my life but one I know is the right decision for me.

"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.

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“It has been my greatest honour and privilege to play this game. In particular, playing for England has and always will be my greatest gift. My dreams came true on July 31, winning the Euros and becoming a European champion.”

What has Ellen White won during her football career?

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She is one of England’s most celebrated footballers of all time, having won numerous trophies long before the well publicised Euro 2022 triumph in July.

A legend of the English game, White has played for some of the countries most celebrated sides such as Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea, while she also spent time with Leeds, Birmingham City and Notts County.

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Individually, the 33-year-old has been awarded the England Women's Player of the Year three times, being given the honour during the 2011, 2018 and 2020–21 seasons. She has won the WSL 1 Golden Boot award in 2017–18 and was also third top goalscorer at the FIFA Women's World Cup 2918, where she was awarded the Bronze Boot.

During her time with Arsenal, she was a serial trophy winner, lifting the FA WSL twice in 2011 and 2012, while she also won the FA Women's Cup in 2011 and 2013 respectively, alongside the FA WSL Cup THREE times – in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

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She lifted the Women’s FA Cup again with Manchester City in 2019-20, alongside the FA WSL Cup last season.

In June 2012, White was named as part of Great Britain’s squad for the 2012 London Olympics, where Team GB finished the tournament as quarter-finalists after finishing top of their group. She was also selected for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where White scored three times during the group stage, including a brace in GB's Group E opener against Chile.

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She scored a hat-trick in Team GB’s quarter final against Australia, though Team GB would lose 4–3 in extra time to exit the competition.

However, above all her achievements, White will undoubtedly be remembered for exceptional Lionesses career, where she excelled over a number of years.

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She started every game at England’s Euro 2022, scoring twice in the 8-0 demolition of Norway, while she featured prominently as the Lionesses finished the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 in third place, while she was also vital as England reached the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup.

White also lifted the Cyprus Cup in 2013, the SheBelieves Cup in 2019 and the Arnold Clark Cup in 2022 while playing for England.