Germany striker Celia Sasic announced her retirement from soccer on Thursday.
Sasic, 27, announced the decision on Facebook, citing a desire to finish her studies and raise a family.
“I was allowed to play in the Women’s Bundesliga for eleven years, experienced unforgettable moments with the Women’s national team for ten and a half years and was part of an unbelievable development,” she said in her announcement. “And that makes me proud. Nevertheless, I’ve decided to begin a new chapter in my life and call time on my professional football career.”
Speculation about her possible retirement surfaced in May when she ended her contract with FFC Frankfurt in May before the Champions League final. Sasic scored 21 goals in the Frauen-Bundesliga league this season, and added another 14 goals in eight Champions League games, helping FFC Frankfurt win the title over Paris Saint-Germain.
She made 111 appearances with the German national team in her career, scoring 63 goals.
Sasic led all players in the Women's World Cup with six goals, winning the Golden Boot, but missed a crucial penalty kick in the semifinals against United States. The USA won the match 2-0 and went on to win their third World Cup championship.
“I’m now looking forward to a range of new things in my life,” she said. “I want to finish my studies, sort out my career path, start a family and a lot more.”
Germany women's national team coach Silvia Neid said she regretted Sasic’s decision, but understands that “football is not everything in life and there always comes a moment in life when you need to focus on other priorities.”
“It's a real loss for us because Celia is major character who leaves big boots to fill,” Neid said. “She was always a role model, on and off the pitch. We won important games because of her; she took on responsibility and completely fulfilled her role as a leading figure. From the bottom of my heart, I wish her all the best for the next step in her life.”
- Scooby Axson