Izzy Christiansen announces retirement from football
Everton and former England midfielder Izzy Christiansen has announced her intention to retire from football once the 2022/23 WSL season concludes at the weekend.
Christiansen has been one of the most important English players of the last decade, starting her career with Everton, before winning trophies with Birmingham, Manchester City and French giants Lyon. She has spent the last three years back with the Toffees.
The 31-year-old has become increasingly high profile off the pitch in recent times, having earned work as a pundit in both men's and women's football. She is also a regular on the Sky Sports-produced Three Players and a Podcast alongside Rachel Yankey and Jen Beattie.
Christiansen, who has only started four of her 19 WSL appearances for Everton this season, was due to be out of contract next month and has decided now is the time to end her career. Her last professional game will see the Toffees take on former club Manchester City in a fitting finale.
"I am announcing my retirement from International and club football at the end of the season," Christiansen confirmed on Thursday morning.
"To all of the football clubs that have trusted me; Everton, Birmingham City, Manchester City, Olympique Lyonnais and finally here again, Everton; Thank you. To representing my country, there's no greater honour. Thank you.
"To my incredible family, friends and representatives, thank you for supporting me through the highs and lows of my career. To the coaches that have taught me the game. You have shaped me as a player and inspired my obsession with football. To all of my teammates over the years, it's been a joy to play with you. I have met lifelong friends from all around the world playing this sport.
"To my sponsors and brands that I have worked with, thank you. You are growing the game.
"Finally, to the incredible fans. You make this game work. What I have achieved is beyond my wildest dreams and being able to choose this ending is something very special. As a young girl kicking a ball around the school field, I had no idea my future would look like this. Dream big."
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What trophies did Izzy Christiansen win?
Christiansen won 10 trophies at club and international level throughout her career. She first helped Birmingham lift the FA Cup in 2012, before landing four trophies in four years at Manchester City in the most concentrated period of success in the club's decade-long history. That spell yielded Conti Cup triumphs in 2014 and 2016, the WSL title in 2016 and the FA Cup in 2017.
Christiansen's rise with City put her on Lyon's radar and a 2018 move to France brought three domestic trophies and the Champions League. However, she played no part in the European final due to an injury that also ruled her out of the 2019 World Cup with England at her peak.
Did Izzy Christiansen play for the Lionesses?
Christiansen played extensively for England between 2015 and 2019 and was part of the squad that reached the semi-finals at Euro 2017. She was deemed an important player for the Lionesses and won the SheBelieves Cup in 2019 ahead of the United States in the lead up to that year's World Cup.
But an ankle injury suffered during the final SheBelieves Cup game ultimately forced her to miss out.
In total, Christiansen played 31 times for England and scored six goals.