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Former Chelsea forward Eni Aluko announces retirement from football aged 32

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The former England, Chelsea and Juventus forward Eni Aluko has announced her retirement from football at the age of 32.

In a statement made to the Players’ Tribune, Nigerian-born England centurion Aluko did not reveal her next steps but wrote: “I’ll be striving to give women key positions in football, to help get the game more coverage, finance and growth and new opportunities.

So I thank you, dear football, for everything you have given me [...] Now it is my turn to repay you.” Aluko represented England at senior level for twelve years - a period that included three World Cups and two European Championships - as well as Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics.

A club career at Birmingham, Charlton and Chelsea saw her win most of the honours in the women’s game.

At Chelsea alone, she won the Women’s Super League three times, the FA Cup twice, was the club’s Player of the Year in 2015 and the league’s top scorer in 2016.

Off the field, she became the first female pundit on Match of the Day in 2014, and was part of the first cohort of women’s footballers to feature in the videogame Fifa the following year.

Her final international appearance came in 2016, following a dispute with the Football Association whereby she made allegations against then England boss Mark Sampson that he had directed remarks “discriminatory on the grounds of race” at her and another player.
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