Euros victory could be perfect way to bow out, admits Alex Scott

26 July 2017 08:24

England veteran Alex Scott has hinted she will retire from international football if the Lionesses triumph at the Women's European Championship.

The 32-year-old Arsenal right-back made her England debut against Holland in September 2004 and will win her 140th cap if she takes part in Thursday's Group D clash with Portugal.

With England heading towards the quarter-finals following wins over Scotland and Spain, manager Mark Sampson could make several changes for the Portugal game, and that could bolster Scott's chances of starting.

Scott is taking part in her fourth European Championship and seventh major tournament with England, but has lost her regular starting role to Lucy Bronze, the current PFA player of the year.

And with Bronze looking set to hold the full-back role for years to come, Scott has reached the point where she is weighing up her future with the national team.

She said: "Obviously I know this is definitely my last Euros. In four years' time there's no way I'm going to be around.

"I want to win gold, which is the only thing I've not won with England, and then I'll reassess my international career after the tournament. So hopefully we'll get that gold and it'll be easier for me to walk away."

Scott had previously suggested she could retire from all football this summer, but she recently agreed a new contract with Arsenal.

"Some people talk you out of things, right?" she said.

Scott is wary of overstaying her welcome with England, despite manager Mark Sampson giving no indication of losing faith in her ability as an understudy to Bronze.

"I was thinking about it, that I don't want to be that person that's still trying to go, but at the same time I don't want to be that person that then looks back and regrets walking away from the game too early," Scott said.

"I love being part of the team, the everyday training, and just being part of the game from when we had nothing to then turning up at our base camp and having everything.

"And I'm so glad I've got to see both sides, and how far the women's game has come. It does make you really appreciate it.

"After the tournament I'll assess, sit down and have a long think."

Scott, who found fame with a new audience when winning the Bear Grylls ITV reality show Mission Survive last year, has no complaints about losing her regular England start to Bronze.

"Lucy has done outstandingly in the two years since the World Cup and so rightly she deserves her place in the team, but that doesn't mean I'm going to sit back and accept my time's over, because I still want to be playing and Mark knows that," Scott said.

"Lucy's actually one of my closest friends in the England team, so there's not that rivalry that people from the outside looking in would expect. We push each other to be the best we can be."

And Bronze remains full of respect for the player who held down the number two role for a decade with England.

Bronze said: "Mark's mentioned that it's probably his hardest position to pick because we're both at that high standard where you don't have that as much in any position on our team.

"She's always pushed me to get better to try to push her out of the team and vice versa. We never have a moan, we just want to get better and better and better and improve each other."

Source: PA