Villa defender Asante to retire at end of season

Anita Asante, the Aston Villa defender who has won 71 caps for England and represented Team Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympics, will retire at the end of the season.

Asante – who turns 37 today – has been a regular for Villa this season, playing 21 times to help them to ninth place in the Women’s Super League.

The defender will hope to feature in Villa’s final two matches of the campaign. They face a trip to Asante’s former side Arsenal on May 1 before ending their campaign at home to rivals Birmingham on May 8.

Asante began her career at Arsenal and was part of the Gunners side that lifted the Premier League, Premier League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup to win a historic quadruple in 2007.

The defender then joined Chelsea before moving to the US, where she played for Sky Blue FC, Chicago Red Stars and Washington Freedom.

Asante also spent five years in Sweden, where she won silverware with both Goteborg and Rosengard, before returning to Chelsea and then joining Villa in 2020.

Asante, who has championed women’s football through her work in the media and organisations like Show Racism the Red Card, Amnesty International and Goals for Girls, has vowed to continue to support the game after her retirement.

She told Villa’s official website: “The last two seasons with Villa has been a great experience, and to be part of supporting the next generation of players.

“It’s great to have a historic and massive club like Villa in the Midlands and it has a very ambitious future, and I know they will inspire many young girls to play football and enjoy the highs of the game that I have been so fortunate to experience.” – Sky Sports

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