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Everton defender Leighton Baines confirms retirement aged 35 after 13 years with the Toffees

Leighton Baines has confirmed his retirement from professional football at the age of 35 after 13 years and 420 appearances for Everton.

The defender announced the decision after the Toffees defeat against Bournemouth, in which he was a 70th-minute substitute, on the final day of the 2019/20 season. 

Baines was out of contract at the end of the campaign and, despite the club offering him the chance to extend it by 12 months, he has taken the decision to quit. 

 

Baines began his career with Wigan, making his debut in the second division – now League One – in 2002 and helped the club reach the Premier League in 2005/06.

After 162 games and four goals, he moved to Everton in 2007 and would become a mainstay at left-back.

He would earn a senior debut for England in 2010, accumulating 30 caps and scoring one goal over five years, as well as appearing at the 2014 World Cup.

However, since the arrival of Lucas Digne as first-choice left-back in 2018, Baines has played just 17 times over the past two seasons.

Baines’ 348 Premier League games for the club means he is their third-highest appearance maker in the competition.

He was named Blues’ player of the season three times and on two occasions voted winner of the Club’s players’ player award.

Renowned as a set-piece specialist, Baines scored 43 goals in his career and added 52 assists for the Toffees.  

The club have reportedly offered Baines the opportunity to remain at the club in an off-field capacity. 

Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti 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.’ 

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