The 33-year-old Manchester City and England striker, who made the announcement just weeks after playing a vital role in England’s victory at the Women’s Euro 2022 Championship, said in part: “This decision has always been the one I’ve wanted to make and it’s time for me to say goodbye to football and watch the next generation shine.

“It has been my greatest honor and privilege to play this game. Playing for England has been and always will be the greatest gift,” White wrote.

White scored 52 goals and registered 113 caps for England during his career which spanned over 17 years. She made her debut against Austria in 2010.

She admitted the pinnacle of her footballing career came in July, saying her “dreams came true” when she helped England win Euro 2022.

“You don’t have to be the best at something to achieve your dreams — just look at me,” White said.

She added: “Never let anyone tell you ‘you can’t do something or achieve your dreams’.

“I was once told I couldn’t play in the boys’ team and would never play for England. Now I’m retiring having made 113 caps with 52 goals for England and a European champion.”

After starting her club career at Chelsea in 2005, she went on to play for many of England’s biggest clubs including Leeds, Arsenal, Notts County, Birmingham City and Man City.

She won the Women’s Super League twice with Arsenal, as well as the Women’s FA Cup three times.

White has consistently led the line for England over the past few years, becoming a talisman for the team. She played for England at three Euros and three World Cups, finishing third at the 2015 World Cup and fourth in 2019.

She became the Lionesses’ top scorer in 2021, surpassing Kelly Smith’s record of 46. She trails just one behind Wayne Rooney’s record of 53 for most England goals for both men’s and women’s teams.

England head coach Sarina Wiegman paid tribute to White.

“Ellen has given so much for England and we are all so proud of her,” she said. “I’ve only had the pleasure of working with her for a year, but her professionalism, work rate and finishing ability are world class.

“This summer she has done an amazing job for the team, she is the perfect team player and has helped young players find their way into international football. I already knew she was a great player but I found an even better person.

“She will be missed, but I fully understand her decision to move in a new direction.”

White in action against Sweden in the Women's Euro 2022 semi-final.

Man City head coach Gareth Taylor has also praised White, calling her an “icon of the game”.

“And although his career is now coming to an end, his efforts have paved the way for so many others to flourish in the future,” Taylor said.

“She has given so much over the years to the game she loves, and she leaves it in the strongest place it has ever been, which is a testament to her hard work and sacrifice.

“She has been the definition of the consummate professional and I feel incredibly privileged to have been able to work with her over the past two seasons – her name will be written in the history books as an icon of women’s football.

“Whatever his next steps, on behalf of everyone here at Manchester City, I would like to express our immense gratitude to him and wish him the best for the future.”

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