Ex-Arsenal and Bristol Academy star Natalia retires

Arsenal’s Asisat Oshoala (left), Danielle Carter (centre) and Natalia Pablos Sanchon celebrate their victory after winning the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final at Wembley in 2016. (Photo: PA Images)

Natalia Pablos Sanchon is hanging up her football boots – and is pursuing a new passion, reports CARRIE DUNN.

The 32-year-old returned to Spain two years ago after successful spells at Arsenal and Bristol Academy, and cemented her place as a Rayo Vallecano legend – but she has decided it is time to move on and concentrate on her new career as a primary school teacher.

“I started to work as a teacher last year, and it’s difficult to do both,” she says. “When I came back from England I started to study to be a manager, but after that I passed my advanced English exam, and I found a job in a school in Madrid.”

It was a difficult decision for the striker to make, but she is confident now is the right time to move on.

Spain’s Natalia Pablos (challenges Costa Rica’s Carol Sanchez during the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, in Montreal). (PA Images)

“I’ve had a fantastic experience in England in the WSL, and when I decided to come back, I played one really good year [last season in Spain],” she added. “I’d prefer to spend my whole time teaching now. Players find the right time to say, ‘That’s enough.’”

But fans in England may see her again soon – albeit in the stands.

“I felt privileged to play in that country – I love English football,” she says. “I have so many friends there, and I like to watch the league. I will visit them there one day!”

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