Rachel Daly: England forward announces international retirement

  • Daly confirms she's stepping away from England duty
  • Aston Villa forward played crucial role in Euro 2022 success
  • The 32-year-old helped Lionesses reach Women's World Cup final a year later
Daly picked up 84 caps for England
Daly picked up 84 caps for England / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

England forward Rachel Daly has announced her retirement from international football.

The 32-year-old played a crucial role in the Lionesses' European Championship success and was part of the side that reached last year's Women's World Cup final.

However, last season's WSL Golden Boot winner has now decided it's time to focus on her club career, detailing in an emotional statement her reasons for stepping away from the international game.

"I would love nothing more than to play for England forever, but the time has to come for me to hang my boots up on the international stage," Daly wrote. "While today is an extremely difficult day for me, it is also one filled with reflection and immense gratitude. Playing for and representing England has been a privilege.

"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.

Millie Bright, Rachel Daly
Rachel Daly (right) holds aloft the European Championship trophy with Millie Bright / Leon Neal/GettyImages

"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.

"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 fell now is the right time to pass that baton to the next generation and be England's number one fan from the stands.

"I am excited to keep working hard at club level to reach new highs and spend some much needed quality time with my loved ones. Thank you."