Lionesses: Aston Villa forward Rachel Daly retires from international football

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England forward Rachel Daly has retired from international football, having won 84 caps throughout an eight-year career with the Lionesses.

Daly started every game of England’s triumphant Euro 2022 run in an unfamiliar left-back role, helping the Lionesses keep four clean sheets en route to winning their first major trophy.

Having claimed the Women’s Super League Golden Boot in 2022-23, netting 22 times for Aston Villa to equal Vivianne Miedema’s record return in a single season, Daly then appeared in all seven of England’s games at the 2023 World Cup.

Having come off the bench to play up front in England’s opening game against Haiti, Daly moved into a left wing-back role as Sarina Wiegman’s team reached the final despite the absences of key players including Leah Williamson and Beth Mead.

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The 32-year-old came off the bench as England beat the Republic of Ireland 2-0 in a Euro 2025 qualifier on Tuesday, and that proved to be her final outing for her country.

Announcing her decision to call time on her international career in a social media post, Daly wrote: “I would love nothing more than to play for England forever, but the time has come for me to hang my boots up on the international stage.

“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.

“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 will be eternally grateful to have been given the opportunity to wear the England badge with immense pride over the past eight years, and I am very fortunate to have played a small part in making history with the Lionesses.

“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!”

Reacting to Daly’s announcement, Wiegman said: “Rachel has been an incredible part of our story and the history we’ve made together. It has been a privilege to work with her.

“I have never worked with a player so versatile, always with a smile on her face, bringing energy and trying to do her best for the team.

“It is sad that she won’t be with us anymore, but we should celebrate what she has done for the team and now she becomes our number one fan.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.

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