Rikke Sevecke announces early retirement after heart condition diagnosis

Rikke Sevecke of Everton interacts with fans after a match
Rikke Sevecke of Everton interacts with fans following their side's victory in the FA Women's Super League match over Liverpool (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)

Former Everton and Portland Thorns player Rikke Sevecke has announced her retirement from football. The 27-year-old took to social media to share that medical tests have revealed she has a heart condition and must step away from the sport.

Sevecke explained that the diagnosis means she has no choice but to withdraw from professional football with immediate effect. Everton, Portland Thorns, and the Danish national team have all posted their support for their former player on Instagram.

An impressive career cut short

Sevecke’s time as a valuable defender for Everton saw her make 52 appearances, scoring two goals and assisting one in that time.

The former Denmark international — an undeniably talented player — had a successful 2023 FIFA World Cup campaign with her national team. Impressively, she reached 50 caps in her first ever World Cup appearance.

The defender made the move from England to the US in September 2023. However, Sevecke made no appearances for former NWSL titleholders Portland Thorns.

An experienced and capable centre-back, Sevecke will certainly be missed by both her national team and her new club, having made an impact in several domestic leagues, and on the international stage throughout her career.

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Sevecke’s emotional post on Instagram

The player candidly shared the devastating news with the world via Instagram, clarifying what this unfortunate development means for her on both a personal and professional level.

“It’s hard to know where to start. I’ve been playing football since I could walk and it’s always been a big part of my life. But it stops now,” Sevecke wrote.

“I’m surrounded by the best people and I’ll come out on the other side. Life is unpredictable and when one door closes another one opens. I’m going to spend some time just being me and processing it all. Thanks for the memories, everyone.”

You can read her original statement in full below.

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