Women's World Cup 2019: Karen Carney prepares for final bow as Phil Neville urges England to deliver bronze

England play Sweden in the third place play-off on Saturday, Carney's final match before retirement

Jack Watson@jackwatsonsport
Friday 05 July 2019 14:27
England fans react to ups and downs as Lionesses knocked out of World Cup in semi-final

Phil Neville confirmed Karen Carney will get one final cap before retiring as he plans to play her in England's World Cup third place play-off against Sweden on Saturday.

Carney announced her retirement from playing football ahead of Enlgnad's final World Cup match after admitting "my mind still wants to do everything, but I don't think my body can any more."

The Lionesses take on Sweden for bronze at Nice’s Allianz Riviera at 16:00 BST after missing out on the final following their 2-1 defeat against the USA in the semi-final.

The third place play-off matches are often deemed meaningless affairs where both sides may want to be heading home rather than hanging around an extra few days to play after missing out on the final.

Neville, however, said that he will play the strongest team possible so England can leave France with something after their impressive campaign.

"I want to send a message to my players that this game is important. We do have certain positions that we will need to freshen up in, but my players know, they are no illusions - this game is one we want to win," he said in his pre-match press conference.

"I want to be laying on a sunbed next week happy that we have finished the tournament well and not finish on two defeats. So we're picking the strongest team to win, the players I feel will have enough to beat the Swedish team."

Karen Carney will make 143 caps 144 before she retires 

The match will be Carney’s last as a Lioness after the winger announced she will be retiring from the game after the World Cup.

Carney, who made her England debut in 2005 and has since played for the national side 143 times and scored 32 goals, will play a part in Saturday’s match, Neville confirmed.

“We give players the opportunity to go and work on individual development plans early, ahead of when training sessions start, and there was only one player who did that yesterday. That player was Karen Carney," he said.

"That was a player who was two days away from kicking her last ball, was still there ahead of everyone else. That is something you're born with, and that's the type of player she is. 143 caps for England, and 144 by some time tomorrow."

Karen Carney made her England debut in 2005 

Carney, who joined Neville in previewing the match, has no regrets about her playing career and said her body can’t keep up with the physical demands of playing.

"I've probably known for quite a while now. My mind still wants to do everything, but I don't think my body can any more,” she said.

"My mind would want to continue until I was 100, but at some point your body tells you enough is enough, and I think I've got to that point.

"I remember reading a quote from (former Germany forward) Birgit Prinz, one of the greatest female players ever - she said you keep going until you've got nothing else more in the tank, and I don't think I have any more.

"So that's why I'm confident and I know it's the right decision for me, because I feel I've given my heart and my soul for my clubs I've played for and especially my country. I don't think there's anything more I could physically or mentally give and I don't have any regrets with how that has happened.

"I think probably a career highlight would be telling my mum when I was 11 that I would play for England, and then at 17 doing it."

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