Green, an England international with 12 caps to his name, came up through the Norwich City academy and played eight professional seasons with the Canaries before moving to West Ham, Queens Park Rangers, Leeds United, and Huddersfield Town before ending his career with the Blues. In total, Green amassed 267 Premier League appearances, keeping 55 clean sheets.
“Following an incredible evening in Baku on Wednesday and after a 23-year career spanning three decades, I’ve decided that now is the right time to announce my retirement from professional football,” Green said in a statement via Chelsea’s official website.
“Being part of the group and celebrations with such a special squad of players after winning the Europa League seems a fitting way to end what’s been an amazing journey for me in the game. I’ve loved every moment and feel privileged to have enjoyed the career I have. I’ve played with, and against, some of the best players in the world and have experienced so much that professional football has to offer.”
The Three Lions veteran was most well known in the United States for making an error in the 2010 World Cup against the USMNT, allowing Clint Dempsey‘s weak, speculative shot to clatter off his hands and into the back of the net. He was benched after that and did not make another World Cup appearance in his career.
SAMARA, Russia (AP) — It was just about the only thing Jordan Pickford got wrong all game.
“It was a daft injury by myself,” the England goalkeeper recounted. “I went to punch the (ground) and ended up punching my knee and hurt my thumb. It was a bit of anger. But I’m a man, not a mouse. I’m fine and I’ll live another day, won’t I?”
Pickford left Samara Stadium on Saturday with a heavily bandaged left hand, a glass vase to commemorate a player-of-the-match performance in England’s World Cup quarterfinal win over Sweden, and with his new-found status as the pride of a nation.
The global reputation of English goalkeepers has taken a battering in recent years but Pickford is reshaping opinions with his standout performances in England’s surprising run to the World Cup semifinals in Russia.
Four days after being England’s penalty-shootout star against Colombia in the round of 16, the 24-year-old Pickford produced three brilliant, one-handed saves in a 2-0 win over Sweden to ensure his team ultimately enjoyed smooth progress to a last-four match against Croatia.
The only previous England goalkeepers to appear on such a stage were Gordon Banks — the World Cup winner from 1966 — and Peter Shilton, a veteran of 125 international caps who was 40 when he played in the 1990 World Cup semifinal loss to West Germany.
He is breaking the mold. Away from his agility and shot-stopping, no previous English goalkeeper has showed such composure and technical ability with his feet, a trait that England manager Gareth Southgate sees as vital for his team’s approach.
“Pickford, for me, is sort of the prototype of what a modern goalkeeper should be,” Southgate said.
Against Sweden, some of the clipped passes Pickford made to his wingbacks, Kieran Trippier and Ashley Young, were as good as any of England’s ball-playing midfielders could produce.
“To be able to play the way that I think we want to play going forward,” Southgate said, “we need goalkeepers of that ilk.”
Whatever happens in the semifinals or potentially the final, Pickford will return to England as one of the team’s star performers in Russia. The abiding memory will likely be an acrobatic save against Colombia that saw him tip Mateus Uribe’s dipping long-range effort onto the crossbar at full stretch.
It might even rival Banks’ storied save from Brazil great Pele in the 1970 World Cup.
Yet, more recently, English goalkeepers have been better known for make high-profile mistakes, too. There was Robert Green allowing a seemingly harmless shot from U.S. forward Clint Dempsey through his grasp and into the net in a World Cup group-stage game in 2010.
Joe Hart was at fault for the winning goal when tiny Iceland beat England 2-1 in the round of 16 at Euro 2016. In 2007, Scott Carson’s mistake, when he spilled a long-range effort into his own net in a decisive qualifying match, contributed to England failing to reach Euro 2008. England’s goalkeeper at the start of the 21st century, David James, was sometimes cruelly labeled “Calamity James” because of his frequent mistakes.
The main criticism aimed at Pickford at this World Cup was his failure to stop Adnan Januzaj’s curling shot that earned Belgium a 1-0 win over England in the group stage. The ball almost went over the head of Pickford, who dived to his right and attempted the save with his left hand.
Pickford stands at 6-foot-1 (1.85 meters) tall, which is relatively short for an elite goalkeeper, and Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said: “I would have caught it. He was too busy throwing his legs in the air.”
Pickford has shown since then that he makes up for his lack of height with agility and speed across his line. Just ask Swedish players Marcus Berg and Viktor Claesson.
England is just hoping Pickford’s thumb heals in time for Croatia.
The smallest nation to ever compete in the Euros has made it the quarterfinals.
Here’s what we learned from a dramatic, historical night in Nice.
HART, ROONEY COST ENGLAND
England’s two most experienced players on the pitch let them down badly. Yes, captain Wayne Rooney scored a penalty kick after five minutes but that’s all he did. His touch was heavy, he overplayed, gave away possession and England’s captain and talisman had a woeful game which summed up the performance of his team. He was subbed out with 2 minutes to go for teenager Marcus Rashford and was jeered off the pitch.
Plus, yet again in a major tournament a goalkeeping error led to England’s downfall. In 2002 it was David Seaman who misjudged Ronaldinho’s cross. In 2010 it was Robert Green who somehow let Clint Dempsey‘s daisy-cutter dribble through him and into the net.
Now, Hart’s mistake may not have been quite as bad as those but its impact was catastrophic. In the 18th minute Kolbeinn Sigthorsson sent a tame effort towards the bottom corner. It went through Hart’s grasp and in. There wasn’t much pace on the effort and the Manchester City goalkeeper knew he’d dropped a clanger. Hart, for the first time in a long time, has held off strong competition to keep his starting spot as England’s first-choice goalkeeper. This won’t help him in the long term. He, alongside Rooney, will be blamed most for England’s exit.
ICELAND DESERVE GREATEST MOMENT
“We are going in with a mindset that we are going to win the game. I think it is the perfect time for Iceland not to upset because we have a good team with self confidence, it is the best time ever to beat England at a big tournament. We are going in it tomorrow to win it.”
Those were the words of one Iceland fan on the eve of the biggest game in their history. It echoed the views of the fans, staff and players. Iceland may be the biggest underdog story in the history of the Euros but they are in the quarterfinals and deservedly so.
In the qualifying stages they finished above Holland, Turkey and the Czech Republic. They finished ahead of Portugal in Group F and the incredibly well-organized side — a penchant of their Swedish coach Lars Lagerback — drag themselves in front after going behind in the fifth minute. Sure, there was a touch of fortune about their second but as soon as they went ahead they sat back, soaked up the pressure and frustrated England.
They had a game plan and all 11 players believed it would work. All 320,000 Icelandic citizens believed and a statement from their joint manager Heimer Hallgrimsson summed it up beautifully before the game began.
“If we beat England their lives will change, and all of our lives will change, significantly. Icelandic football will go up in reputation and the way we approach football will be different. It’ll look different for us.”
They did beat England and the greatest moment in Icelandic soccer history arrived.
Their fans were incredible in the Stade de Nice with their rhythmic chants spurring their players on. There will be scenes like never before in Reykjavik. In the land of the Midnight Sun, they won’t stop partying until it goes dark as they face France in the quarterfinals in Paris this Sunday.
MESSY END FOR HODGSON
Roy Hodgson’s side let him down badly and now he will pay the ultimate price. Hodgson, 68, only had a contract as England manager until the end of EURO 2016. Now that is over, he knows his time as England’s boss is over.
Strolling around the Promenade des Anglais and mixing with fans on the day of the game, Hodgson looked calm and relaxed. By the end of the day he was looking hot under the collar as he stood on the steamy sideline in Nice.
This is where it ends.
Even though Hodgson’s four years in charge have offered plenty of moments of hope, his legacy will be one of underachievement and disappointment. He tried to rebuild England into a team full of young, dynamic atrack-minded players. They didn’t show up when it mattered most.
England haven’t won a knockout game in 10 years at a major tournament and that unwanted stat will now be extended to 12. Hodgson won’t be in charge in Russia at the 2018 World Cup, if England gets there. There are no outstanding contenders to replace him and that leaves England in a real mess. This crop promised so much, especially in attack, but they’ve floundered once again in a major tournament. It is an all too familiar sight for England’s fans.
Hodgson’s side made too many basic defensive errors. Aron Gunnarrsson has a long throw. England pinpointed that long throw as a major strength for Iceland. So, of course Iceland scores from their first long throw of the game, just 60 seconds after Rooney had put them ahead. Rooney lost the initial flick on to Gylfi Sigurdsson and Kyle Walker lost Ragnar Sigurdsson after the flick. Then came Hart’s howler and here we are.
This has to go down as the biggest embarrassment in English soccer history since they lost to the USA at the 1950 World Cup. England have now played 20 knockout ties in major competitions since they won the World Cup in 1966. They’ve won just six of those.
There have been plenty of defeats and penalty shootout heartbreak along the way but this was difference. This was a team which was outfought and went home with a whimper.