February 25, 2024

I have quit playing football for Everton at 26 because I no longer enjoy it

Everton winger Nicoline Sorensen is set to retire from professional football at the end of 2023

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Nicoline Sorensen will leave Everton at the end of 2023

Nicoline Sorensen will leave Everton at the end of 2023

Everton forward Nicoline Sørensen says she is “proud” to be doing what’s right for her after announcing plans to retire from professional football at the age of 26.

 

The 26-year-old has made more than 50 appearances for the Blues since arriving on Merseyside from Brondby in July 2020. But Everton confirmed on Sunday the winger will leave the club at the end of 2023 to “pursue other interests”.

 

Sørensen, who represented her native Denmark at this summer’s Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, has since taken to social media to explain the reasoning behind her decision, noting that her passion for playing football has diminished.

 

In a statement on Twitter/X, Sørensen said: “My promise to myself has always been to play as long as I enjoyed it, and that time has now come to an end. I was a little girl that always played with all the boys in the school yard and I immediately fell in love with the game.

 

“I’ve never stopped playing since. 5-year-old me was dreaming of playing professional football and playing for my country. Lucky me, those dreams actually turned into reality. Thinking back on all the hours of training, I’ve always loved it – and maybe that’s the part I’ve loved the most: developing, analysing learning new things and when it went wrong I would try again.

 

“No feeling has ever beaten the feeling of succeeding at something you worked on for a long time. But as we move through life our motivations, perspectives and passions change – and I think that’s just a natural part of life.

 

She continued: “Whilst appreciating this might be a surprise since I’m only 26 and it’s not the norm to leave the game already, it’s the right decision for me to do so. In my opinion, choices in life should not be driven by what you think others expect from you or by the outside world’s perception.

 

“It should be driven by your motivation and your heart. I’m proud to stand up for myself and do what’s right for me. To be able to listen to myself and act, because at the end of the day, the thing I’m most proud of is not the titles or trophies but the person I’ve become because of football.

 

Everton have confirmed Sørensen will remain at the club until December 17, when the the Blues host Manchester City at Walton Hall Park. Her departure is a blow for Brian Sorensen’s side, who sit 10th in the WSL table after Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Bristol City.

 

Alan McTavish, CEO of Everton Women, said: “Nicoline has been a key part of our squad over the past three years and signed a new one-year deal in the summer. However, she recently informed us of her plans to retire from professional football and, after careful consideration, we have reluctantly taken the decision to release her from her contract.

 

“She will remain part of the Women’s Senior Team squad until our game with Manchester City on 17 December. Whatever Nicoline’s next steps are, on behalf of everyone at Everton, I would like to wish her all the very best for the future.”

 

After arriving at Everton in 2020, Sørensen made an instant impact, featuring in all 22 of the club’s WSL matches in 2020/21. She also played a key role in helping the Blues reach the 2020 Women’s FA Cup final.

 

However, in September 2021 , the winger suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury during Everton’s 3-1 win over Birmingham City and subsequently spent 14 months on the sidelines. After an extensive period of rehabilitation, Sørensen returned to competitive football against Arsenal in December 2022 and helped Brian Sorensen’s side secure a top six finish in the WSL last term.

 

In her statement, Sørensen thanked Everton for their support and understanding regarding her decision, dubbing the club as her “second home.”

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