Everton defender Baines retires from football

Leighton Baines Everton 2019-20
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At the age of 35, the former England full-back has called time on his footballing career following 420 appearances for the Toffees

Leighton Baines has announced his retirement from football following the end of Everton's Premier League campaign.

Former England international Baines – who had been offered a one-year contract extension by Everton – made his 420th and final appearance for the Toffees on Sunday, as Carlo Ancelotti's side went down 3-1 to Bournemouth.

The 35-year-old, who has made nine appearances in all competitions this season, came on as a second-half substitute at Goodison Park.

Ancelotti later paid tribute to the stalward left-back, while suggesting that he could stay on at the Merseyside club in a non-playing capacity even after retirement. 

"Every Evertonian must be grateful to him," the Toffees boss said to reporters after the final whistle.

"He had a fantastic career here and was a fantastic example for all his team-mates.

"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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Baines joined Everton from Wigan Athletic in 2007, going on to become one of the Premier League's most consistent full-backs.

He scored 39 goals for Everton and was the club's first-choice left-back until Lucas Digne's arrival from Barcelona in 2018.

He also made 30 appearances for England following his 2010 debut, making the squad for both the 2012 European Championships and the 2014 World Cup.

Baines' last goal for Everton came in a Carabao Cup tie against Leicester City in December, with the defender scoring a stunning long-range strike late on, only for the Foxes to win on penalties.

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