MX23RW : Saturday, August 15 01:45:50| >> :120:67281:67281:

Everton defender Leighton Baines opens up on retirement call

Everton defender Leighton Baines opens up on retirement call
© Reuters
The 35-year-old called time on his playing career after his 420th and final appearance for the Toffees.

Everton defender Leighton Baines admits he found it difficult to make the decision to retire.

The 35-year-old called time on his playing career after his 420th and final appearance for the Toffees in the 3-1 defeat at home to Bournemouth.

"I am incredibly proud to have represented Everton for the past 13 years and my decision to retire has been a difficult one to make," he said in a message to fans on the club's official website.

"After speaking to my family, I feel now is the right time to end my playing career but I do so with many great memories at this proud football club.

"As someone from the city, Everton means so much to me and it has been an honour to be part of the club for so long.

"I would like to thank everyone who has supported me during my time at Everton, especially the fans who have been fantastic with me from the moment I signed."

Baines joined from Wigan in 2007 and went on to win 30 England caps during his time at Goodison Park, appearing at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

However, he has played just 17 times in the last two seasons as Lucas Digne took over as first-choice left-back.

He was out of contract at the end of the season and despite the club offering him the chance to extend it by 12 months, he has taken the decision to retire, although manager Carlo Ancelotti remains hopeful he can be persuaded to remain in some capacity.

"I am grateful to say thanks to him, I had only the last six months of his fantastic career and I found a fantastic player still," said the Italian.

"I asked him to continue but he decided to stop. Everyone at the club has to be grateful to him.

"We tried to keep him, I think it was important as he was not only professional but because he is still a good left-back, fit, really professional but he decided and we had to respect this.

"We have time to think about a new role. We would like to know what he would like to do in the future and the fact he can stay with us will be a good opportunity to use his knowledge and his experience and for him also his new future.

"He didn't talk to me but he has some days to think about this."

ID:408049:

Click here for more stories about Leighton Baines

Click here for more stories about Everton

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Aston Villa's Jack Grealish celebrates scoring against West Ham United in the Premier League on July 26, 2020
Read Next:
Premier League roundup: Aston Villa survive as Bournemouth and Watford go down
>
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.

rhs 2.0
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool38323385335299
2Manchester CityMan City392739106357184
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd381812866363066
4Chelsea392061369571266
5Leicester CityLeicester381881267412662
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs3816111161471459
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves381514951401159
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd391512124239357
9Arsenal381414105648856
10Burnley38159144350-754
11Southampton38157165160-952
12Everton381310154456-1249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381111163858-2044
14Crystal Palace381110173150-1943
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914153954-1541
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham38109194962-1339
17Aston Villa3898214167-2635
RBournemouth3897224065-2534
RWatford39810213668-3234
RNorwich CityNorwich3856272675-4921

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!