England icon and ex-Leeds United star Rachel Daly announces international retirement

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The Lionesses legend has decided to call time on her international career with England.

Euro 2022 champion and former Leeds United Women’s player Rachel Daly has announced she is retiring from international football after eight years in an England shirt. The Harrogate-born Aston Villa star earned her 84th cap for the Lionesses on Tuesday, when she came on as a substitute against the Republic of Ireland in the Euro 2025 Qualifiers.

Despite featuring in Sarina Wiegman’s latest camp, Daly has announced in a shock statement that ‘the time has come’ for her hang up her boots and step away from the international stage.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“While today is an extremely difficult day for me, it is also one filled with reflection and immense gratitude,” the 32-year-old wrote on social media. “Playing for and representing England has been the greatest honour.

“During my eight years as a Lioness, I’ve always pursued success and winning football matches, while playing and training with the highest standards of competition, passion and perseverance. It has been the greatest honour to represent my family, my teammates and the entire country. I have a lot of incredible memories during my time with England that have been pivotal moments.”

Daly is an extremely versatile player who started every single match during England’s road to their fairytale Euro 2022 triumph on home soil. She was deployed as a left-back during the tournament but continued to establish herself as a leading goalscorer, and won the Women’s Super League Golden Boot last season, after netting 22 goals for Aston Villa.

Daly — whose senior career started at Leeds United following her rise through the youth department — was also an influential figure during England’s 2023 World Cup campaign. The Lionesses reached the final in Australia and New Zealand but were pipped at the final hurdle by Spain.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Winning the Euros and then reaching the World Cup Final changed a lot for me, not only as a footballer but as a person. I’m so fortunate that I've been able to share that with so many remarkable people throughout my journey.

“I have made special friendships that will last a lifetime. I will be eternally grateful to have been given the opportunity to wear the England badge with immense pride over the past eight years. I am very fortunate to have played a small part in making history with the Lionesses and I feel now is the right time to pass on that baton to the next generation and be England’s number one fan from the stands!”

Daly will return to action in the WSL with Villa on April 17th when Carla Ward’s side meet with title hopefuls Chelsea. The Villans drew their previous fixture against Leicester City 2-2, with Daly getting on the scoresheet.

Related topics: