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Izzy Christiansen to step away from football

Izzy Christiansen, an accomplished footballer for both Everton and the England national team, has announced her intention to step away from the game at the conclusion of the current season. Christiansen, who initiated her career with Everton back in 2008, went on to have successful tenures with clubs such as Birmingham City, Manchester City, and Lyon, before re-joining Everton in 2020.

In addition to her club career, Christiansen also had a significant international career with England, earning her first cap in 2015 and going on to represent her country 31 times while netting six goals. She was a key part of the England squad that triumphed in the SheBelieves Cup in 2019.

With a career that exceeded her initial expectations, Christiansen took the opportunity to express her gratitude to her family, friends, and coaches, who she credits with shaping her as a player and fuelling her passion for the sport. She is set to play her final match in an Everton shirt in their last fixture of the season against Manchester City this coming Saturday.

During her time at Birmingham, she won the Women's FA Cup in 2012 before moving on to Manchester City in February 2014. At City, Christiansen played a key role in their successes, helping them secure the League Cup in her debut season and later contributing to their WSL and League Cup double in 2016, a performance that won her the PFA Women's Players' Player of the Year. Christiansen also won the FA Cup with City in 2017. Following her tenure at City, she signed with Lyon in July 2018 and immediately made an impact, helping them win a treble of the French league, FA Cup, and Women's Champions League in her debut season. She then returned to Everton in early 2020.

Despite struggling with injuries initially upon her return to Everton, Christiansen quickly found her form and became the club's player of the season in 2020-21, helping them reach the FA Cup final, where they were defeated by Manchester City. Christiansen featured in all but two of the league games last season due to injury, but has only been in the starting lineup for four WSL games under new manager Brian Sorensen this season.

Brian Sorensen, Everton's manager, praised Christiansen for her contributions both on and off the field, commending her exceptional skills as a player and her influence as a person. He expressed his sadness at her decision to retire, but stated his respect for her decision.

On the international stage, Christiansen mentioned that she views playing for England as the highest honour. However, she hasn't been selected to represent the Lionesses since 2019. She was included in England's squad for the 2017 European Championships, which reached the semi-finals, but an ankle injury prevented her from participating in the 2019 World Cup.

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