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Veteran Dutch woman’s football star Martens says to retire

Dutch women’s football star and Paris Saint-Germain forward Lieke Martens on Tuesday announced her retirement from the national squad after more than a decade.

Martens, 31, who first made her debut for the Oranje in 2011, said she will play her final games in two European qualifiers against Finland on May 31 and June 4.

“I’d like you to know that the upcoming two games with the Dutch Lionesses will be my last for the Oranje,” Martens said on X, formerly Twitter.

“I know already that I’m going to say goodbye with a painful heart,” she added.

Martens played 158 international games since and was one of the key players driving the Dutch women’s team’s achievements under then national manager and now England coach Sarina Wiegman.

The Dutch squad’s greatest success came when they won the European title in 2017, with Martens scoring three goals in six games at the tournament in the  Netherlands.

Martens’ work in helping the Dutch women’s team win their first major title earned her the Player of the Tournament award.

Two years later, Martens and her team finished second in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup behind the United States.

At the club level, Martens signed for Barcelona in 2017, before inking a three-season deal with Paris Saint-Germain in 2022.

“I am not surprised by her decision,” national coach Andries Jonker told the NOS public newscaster.

“She has told me that the 2025 European Women’s Championship was too far off for her and that she would like to make way for somebody else in the Oranje to take her place,” Jonker said.

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