Leighton Baines has announced his retirement from football. The 35-year-old English professional footballer made 420 appearances for Everton after joining for £6million from Wigan in 2007. During his career, he scored 39 goals and registered 67 assists for the club. Baines won 30 caps for England but the emergence of Luke Shaw limited his chances in the national team.
Baines’ final match came as a 70th-minute substitute against Bournemouth on Sunday where the team suffered a 3-1 home defeat.
Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti, reacting to Baines’ retirement said: “He has taken the decision to stop playing.
“I think every Evertonian has to be grateful to him. He had a fantastic career here and was a fantastic example for all his teammates.
“We would like to keep him in the club because his knowledge is very important, but in the next days he has to make a decision.
“The club is open to have him stay with us. It’s his decision. We have time to think about this.”
Everton have now published a statement from Baines to the club’s fans on their website, thanking him for his service.
The statement reads: “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.
“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.”