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Coleman on Baines

Seamus Coleman has paid tribute to Leighton Baines after the Everton icon announced his retirement from football on Sunday.

The Irishman told the club’s official website: “In my time at Everton, he is hands down one of, if not the best, players I’ve played with.

“As a footballer every day he was so professional, always in the gym and always the best player in training.

“Even until last week. That is testament to how he’s looked after himself throughout his career.

Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines during the Everton training session at USM Finch Farm on June 3 2020 in Halewood, England. (Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)

“You hear pundits and people talking about full-backs changing the game.

“Leighton Baines was one of the players who helped change the game for attacking full-backs 10 years ago.

“There was a five-year period, at least, when he was the best left-back in England and, possibly, in Europe.

“Under David Moyes [Baines’ manager for his first six years at Everton], you had your left-back winning games for you, which is incredible.

“He was an unbelievable talent, a natural talent with amazing ability.

“We will miss him massively.”