‘Wenger got me out of retirement’ – USWNT legend and World Cup winner OReilly makes shock move to Shelbourne

The three-time Olympic gold medallist thanked the former Arsenal boss for inspiring her to stage a comeback

Former USWNT international Heather O’Reilly has come out of retirement to join Irish club Shelbourne FC on a one-year deal.

The 37-year-old winger had announced her retirement from professional football in 2019 but after an inspiring conversation with former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, she came back and signed for the Irish side.

After signing for Shelbourne, O’Reilly told the club’s official website that Wenger was the “catalyst” in reversing her decision and coming back to professional football.

Heather O’Reilly is a 𝐑𝐞𝐝🏆 x1 FIFA World Cup winner🥇 x3 Olympic Gold medal🇺🇸 x 231 caps for USA WNTOne of the most decorated athletes in sport has signed for 𝐒𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐬#WelcomeHeather#DublinsFinest | #Since1895

She said, “I played in Soccer Aid a few months ago. Arsene Wenger was my manager. We got talking after one of the sessions, and he said, ‘Heather, you are very good, you should still play’. I said, ‘Oh thanks Arsene, maybe.’ I never did play Champions League football, and it always bothered me’

“He says, ‘You should do it. You should play’. I puffed out my chest, put some more thought into it, and said I was going to start having some conversations.

“Arsene Wenger was the catalyst to get me out of retirement, get the boots back on and give it a go with Shelbourne FC.”

Heather O’Reilly is a three-time Olympics gold medal winner with the USWNT and also won the World Cup in 2015.

She has won 231 international caps for her nation and scored 47 goals, making her the 10th most-capped international footballer of all time.