Karen Carney to retire from football after Sweden match

The England and Chelsea midfielder Karen Carney has announced her retirement from football and will sign off after England’s World Cup third-place play-off against Sweden in Nice on Saturday.

The 31-year-old England centurion was made an MBE in 2017 and won her 100th cap against Germany at Wembley in November 2014. She won a bronze medal at the 2015 World Cup in Canada and scored 32 times in 143 caps, a contribution that will be honoured, the FA say, at a forthcoming international.

She said: “I am incredibly proud to have achieved so much in the game but now is definitely the right 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.

Phil Neville, England head coach, said: “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.”

Solihull-born Carney began her career at her hometown side Birmingham City, before moving to Arsenal and winning the quadruple in the 2006/07 season.

A spell in the United States with Chicago Red Stars followed before returning to Birmingham, scoring the winning penalty in the 2012 FA Cup final victory defeat to Chelsea – the team she would join in 2015.

Baroness Sue Campbell, director of women’s football at The FA, said: “Karen will be regarded as one of English football’s great names. Her humility despite all she has achieved on the world stage is one of many endearing qualities. She has played a huge part in the Lionesses’ incredible progress on the pitch and the inspirational impact the squad has had off it.

“I know Karen will be much missed by everyone at Chelsea and England – but I am certain she will stay in the game as she has so much to offer.”

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