Wednesday, February 1 2023

Norway striker Caroline Graham Hansen announced on Wednesday she was taking a break from international football aged 27, blaming heart problems and exhaustion.

“After a year with heart problems and almost 50 matches, I still feel a fatigue that makes me choose to listen to my body. I need rest. I need to catch up,” she wrote on Instagram.

The Barcelona star’s announcement came a day after she was selected for the Norway squad to play World Cup qualifiers against Belgium on September 2 and Albania on September 6.

Hansen, who scored in the final as Barcelona won the 2021 Champions League, missed part of last season after suffering chest pains and a high heart rate during a club match last November.

She returned to finish the season as Barcelona reached the Champions League final again.

She played for Norway in their disastrous campaign at the European championships.

Even though another star striker, Ada Hegerberg, returned after a five-year international break, the former world, European and Olympic champions failed to progress from their group.

They suffered a record 8-0 loss to England.

“The national team has been a part of my life since I was 16 years old. I have grown up here. I’ve had experiences, memories and friends for life. It’s the proudest thing I’ve done in my career,” she wrote.

“I hope that this is not a farewell.”

Hansen scored 44 goals in 98 games for Norway.

After Euro 2022, Hege Riise relaced Martin Sjogren as coach.

“I am first of all sad but I also have respect for Caro and her health”, Riise told Norwegian news agency NTB.

phy/aco/pb/pi

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