Duggan confirms Atletico departure ahead of WSL return

Toni Duggan has said farewell to Spanish football with the forward expected to return to the Women’s Super League ahead of next season.

Duggan joined Barcelona in 2017 and moved on to Atletico Madrid two years later, but has now confirmed her future lies elsewhere.

She wrote on Twitter: “After four really enjoyable years, it’s time to say goodbye to Spain.

“I’ve had the honour of playing for two incredible clubs, helped them to create history and won trophies. Most importantly, I’ve met so many special people and created memories on and off the pitch that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

“I wish Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and women’s football in Spain the best of luck in the future.”

The 29-year-old exclusively told Sky Sports News last month she intended to see out her contract at Atletico, which runs until the end of June, and move back to England

The Liverpudlian is set to return to the WSL four years after departing for Barcelona in order to earn a place back in the Lionesses’ squad and be closer to her family.

Duggan said: “My contract with Atletico is up in the summer, I think people are aware of that and, after a difficult year with the coronavirus pandemic and the world changing, I want to be back with family and also to get back in the England side – for me personally that was the biggest difficulty this year.

“I think if I’m in the WSL, back in England, and in front of the new manager’s eyes, that is my motivation – to get back in the England team, come back to England and hopefully people can remember me.”

Duggan has been linked with a move to Everton, where she began her career before joining Manchester City where she won a Women’s Super League title, an FA Cup and two WSL Cups.

She added a Copa de la Reina with Barca, who finished runners-up in the league twice and the Champions League once in her time there, and a Supercopa with Atletico.

Toni Duggan (L) last featured for the Lionesses in the 2020 SheBelieves Cup
Duggan (L) last featured for England in the 2020 SheBelieves Cup

She has 79 senior England caps to her name and was part of the victorious squad at the 2019 SheBelieves Cup.

Duggan, though, is yet to receive a call-up from interim coach Hege Riise and was not included in the Team GB squad for the Tokyo Olympics which begin next month.

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