Former England striker Eniola Aluko retired from professional football on Wednesday, bringing an end to a career in which she became Chelsea’s all time highest goalscorer and claimed league titles in Italy and England.
The 32-year-old amassed 102 caps for England, scoring 33 goals and represented The Lionesses at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup where she helped the England Ladies to a bronze medal finish.
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Eni could have played for the Super Falcons but she turned down the opportunity, choosing to stay loyal to her adopted country who gave her a chance at making a career in football. Her younger brother, Some Aluko, however featured seven times for the Super Eagles making his debut in 2009.
The former Juventus striker – left in December after her contract at the Italian side expired – announced her retirement in a post on her Twitter page, linking to her full statement on The Players’ Tribune website.
“My dear friend football, it’s time to hang up my boots and retire as a professional footballer. Thank you football for everything you’ve given and taught me. Thanks for the full circle moments & crazy unexpected journey,” Aluko wrote on Twitter.
The England FA, former teammates and countless other fans have paid tribute to Eniola Aluko and her successful career in which she became prolific for many clubs including Juventus, Saint Louis Athletica and Chelsea (twice).