Ex-England defender Anita Asante announces retirement after 19-year career

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Former England international Anita Asante will retire at the end of the season following a 19-year career at the top of the women’s game.

The Aston Villa defender’s final game is set to be against rivals Birmingham City in the Women’s Super League.

The 36-year-old has had a hugely successful career, winning 71 caps for England and representing Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

She began her career at Arsenal before joining Chelsea and then moving abroad.

Asante’s greatest achievement was arguably her role in Arsenal’s quadruple-winning season in 2007, when the club became the only women’s team from England to win the Champions League.

“When I look back, I’m really proud of what I’ve been able to do and what I’ve been able to experience throughout those years,” Asante told BBC Sport.

“It’s been an unbelievable journey. I’m so proud to have been a part of all that and to have shared it with so many amazing players and coaches. I’ve learnt so much from them over the years.

“It was a difficult decision to make, but I feel very lucky that I’ve been able to decide and be in control of what I want to do in this current point in my life.”

Asante also won five league titles and four FA Cups during her time at Arsenal between 2003 and 2008.

She spent three years playing in the United States before leaving Sky Blue FC to join Swedish side Goteborg in 2012, making 41 appearances across two seasons.

Asante later switched to FC Rosengard, also competing in the Swedish Damallsvenskan league, before moving back to Chelsea in 2018.

The respected centre-back made her senior international debut against Iceland in 2004, after captaining the England under-19s, and went on to play in five major tournaments, as well as the Olympic Games.

As indicated by her name, Asante is of Ghanaian descent.

Source: BBC

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