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Jill Scott: England Women legend retires at age of 35

England international Jill Scott hangs up her boots after illustrious 18-year playing career; Scott played for Manchester City, Everton, Sunderland and Aston Villa, and won Euro 2022 with the Lionesses in her final game as a professional

Jill Scott was one of England's Euro 2022 winners
Image: Jill Scott was one of England's Euro 2022 winners

Jill Scott, England Women's second-highest capped player, has announced her retirement from football at the age of 35.

The decision comes after the midfielder was part of the England squad that won Euro 2022 last month.

Scott won 161 caps for the Lionesses and scored 27 goals, while also winning the Women's Super League title and four women's FA Cups.

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."

Scott began her career with hometown Sunderland before spending seven years at Everton and then joining City in 2013. She later had loan spells back at Everton and Aston Villa. She won every domestic honour during her time in the game, including the Women's Super League title with City in 2017.

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Other career highlights include scoring England's winner against Holland in the Euro 2009 semi-finals and also netting in City's 2017 Women's FA Cup final victory over Birmingham. She also represented Great Britain at the 2012 and delayed 2020 Olympics.

She made four substitute appearances in England's triumphant Euro 2022 campaign, including the final against Germany.

Wiegman: Lionesses will miss Scott

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 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. To be able to play at the highest level for so long tells you how good a player Jill has been, and her story is a positive example that others will continue to follow.

"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."

Social media reacts to Scott retirement

The Duke of Cambridge has congratulated Scott on her career, joking he would not miss her "slide tackles".

William wrote in a personal tweet: "A pioneer of Women's football and a great team player. @JillScottJS8 congratulations on a wonderful career, it's been a pleasure to get to know you.

"Tiny bit pleased there won't be any more slide tackles during 'friendly' kickabouts... W".

Wiegman set to name first post-Euros squad

England boss Wiegman is set to name her first squad since the summer's historic Euros triumph on Wednesday - and the first of the post-Ellen White and Jill Scott era.

After securing their first piece of major silverware with the 2-1 extra-time victory over Germany at Wembley on July 31, the Lionesses will be back in action with World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Luxembourg on September 3 and 6.

Wiegman's squad for the double-header is to be confirmed on Wednesday morning.

One definite change from last month's tournament will be the absence of the team's all-time top-scorer with 52 goals, White, who announced her retirement from football on Monday.

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Former England forward Lianne Sanderson says her former teammate, Ellen White, will 'inspire a generation' following the news of her retirement from professional football.

With White bowing out, there may well be a promotion to the starting line-up next month for Alessia Russo - the Manchester United forward came off the bench to replace her in each of England's games during the Euros, and scored four times.

The other centre-forward in the Euros squad was Chelsea's Beth England, who will hope for greater involvement after being an unused substitute through the tournament.

There could be a recall for Ebony Salmon, holder of one cap to date, won back in February 2021. The 21-year-old has been in superb form for Houston Dash, scoring eight goals in eight league games.

Alessia Russo celebrates at the final whistle following England's Euro 2022 final win vs Germany
Image: The stage is set for Alessia Russo's rise to prominence for England Women after Ellen White's retirement

Another player who could return is former skipper Steph Houghton. The centre-back, who was recovering from Achilles surgery, was part of Wiegman's provisional 28-player squad for the Euros but failed to make the cut when it was reduced to a final 23.

The other quartet who did not make the transition from 28 to 23 were Manchester United midfielders Lucy Staniforth and Katie Zelem, Chelsea defender Niamh Charles and goalkeeper Sandy MacIver, who has joined City.

Midfielder Jordan Nobbs, who was ruled out of the Euros by a knee injury, has been back in training with Arsenal.

Lionesses set sights on World Cup qualification

Group D leaders England face second-placed Austria in Wiener Neustadt before taking on Luxembourg at Stoke's bet365 Stadium.

A point in the clash with the Austrians will see Wiegman's side seal qualification for next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

England have won all eight of their qualifiers so far, with 68 goals scored along the way and none conceded - part of a 20-game unbeaten record under Wiegman.

They beat Austria 1-0 at the Stadium of Light last November, and it was the same scoreline when the sides met at Old Trafford in the opening game of the Euros on July 6.

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