Carli Lloyd insists she has had no trouble adjusting to retirement, but the two-time FIFA Women’s Player of the Year is looking forward to dusting off her boots for Soccer Aid this summer.
The American, a two-time Olympic champion and two-time World Cup winner, ended her illustrious career last year after playing in her fourth Olympic Games in Tokyo.
But the 39-year-old, whose career included a brief spell with Manchester City and an FA Cup victory in 2017, will return to England to play at London Stadium on June 12.
Lloyd’s career spanned more than two decades, during which time he amassed 316 caps for the United States, but he said being able to go out on his own terms has made the transition to retirement easier.
“For me to be able to dictate when I wanted to leave the sport, to retire the way I did, I don’t think many athletes can do that,” Lloyd told the PA news agency. “I am very grateful that it was on my own terms and on my own schedule.
“I was ready to move on. I would put so many things on hold so I could have this second life and a fresh start, doing all the things I didn’t and spending more time with my husband, family and friends, it’s been amazing.”
Lloyd admitted that there was a part of her that missed the relentless pursuit of success and said that nothing could ever be repeated collecting Olympic gold medals or lifting the World Cup trophy, but there were also elements of her playing career that she was happy to leave behind.
“Over time it gets a little tiring to constantly prove people wrong,” he said. “I feel like for 17 years I had to prove everyone wrong all the time. Even though I had some success, people still wanted to drag you down again.
“It was all part of my journey, but not having the daily pressure. I loved pressure and thrived on pressure, but it’s nice to feel a little free. Internally I continue to strive to be the best at whatever I pursue, but I have no external pressures to worry about.”
Soccer Aid will bring Lloyd back to England, where she spent a few months on loan with Manchester City to play in the Women’s Super League Spring Series in 2017, and also scored in the final as City lifted the FA Women’s Cup, and helping them to reach the semi-finals. -Champions League Finals.
Lloyd admitted that she would have loved to return for a second season, but the change in the Women’s Super League season to winter clashed with her commitments in the United States, making it a short but sweet period in her career.
“Soccer, I will use that word, is a very different culture,” he said. “I have been playing football since I was five years old, but (in England) there is a different mentality. It was great to connect with so many people, I met Pep Guardiola and the Manchester City facilities were amazing.
“It was a great opportunity to be able to go and play for that team.”
:: Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2022 will take place on Sunday June 12 at London Stadium. A family of four can attend the match for just £60 – buy your tickets at socceraid.org.uk/tickets
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