Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football

Bronze believes England have the golden touch

Lucy tips England Women for World Cup glory.

England’s Lucy Bronze knows Lyon’s ground well (Mike Egerton/PA)
England’s Lucy Bronze knows Lyon’s ground well (Mike Egerton/PA)

England Women defender Lucy Bronze admits the Lionesses lifting the World Cup this summer in Lyon is something she has been visualising daily.

The semi-finals and finals of the tournament in France will take place at Lyon’s Groupama Stadium, where their women’s side play some of their games.

Bronze, who joined the French outfit in 2017 after leaving Manchester City, told Press Association Sport: “It’s exciting.

“The stadium is just next to the training ground where we train every single day. I have to drive all the way around the stadium to get to the training ground every single morning, and I just stare at the stadium thinking ‘I’m going to be playing there for England in the World Cup final, and England are going to win the trophy.’

bpanews_03109292-9392-4930-9550-ed7cfcdada36_embedded233537089
Lucy Bronze is familiar with the Groupama Stadium (Phil Medlicott/PA)

“Whenever I have a game there for Lyon, I’m stood in the middle of the pitch looking around thinking ‘this is going to have England fans screaming for us, we are going to be lifting the trophy.’

“I just can’t stop thinking about it, and being in France and being at my home stadium, it will be amazing. Every morning I am visualising it. I am set on it.”

Bronze helped England come third at the 2015 World Cup in Canada and reach the semi-finals of Euro 2017.

bpanews_03109292-9392-4930-9550-ed7cfcdada36_embedded238380063
Lucy Bronze has World Cup experience (Mike Egerton/PA)

Last month they won the invitational SheBelieves Cup for the first time, beating Brazil and Japan either side of a 2-2 draw with hosts and reigning world champions the United States.

Bronze added: “Obviously it’s a dream to win the World Cup, but I wouldn’t be thinking about it if I didn’t think it was possible.

“I think we’re just as good as any team that is going to this tournament.

“We are capable of beating every team. We know that, we’ve shown that, the other teams know that, and I think on our day, in a final, we could beat any team to take that trophy home – and that is what we want to do.”

bpanews_03109292-9392-4930-9550-ed7cfcdada36_embedded239187585
Lucy Bronze, top left, has high hopes for England and her team-mates (Mike Egerton/PA)

Bronze was speaking ahead of Friday’s friendly in Manchester against Canada, the first of four home ‘Road to France Series’ warm-up games for Phil Neville’s team ahead of the World Cup.

During the SheBelieves Cup campaign the 27-year-old full-back was deployed for some of the time in midfield by Neville, a challenge she enjoyed.

She says that while there is potential for more of that in the future, she knows “hand on heart I’m an out and out full-back.”

Neville, appointed boss in January 2018, also said during the competition that 2018 Ballon d’Or nominee Bronze was “the best player in the world”.

bpanews_03109292-9392-4930-9550-ed7cfcdada36_embedded241367956
Phil Neville has put smiles on the faces of his players (Richard Sellers/PA)

When asked about that, Bronze said: “I have a really good relationship with Phil.

“I know he does think a lot of me and appreciates my game. But I know I’m not there yet – I haven’t made it as the best player in the world. I have a lot of things I still need to work on.

“I’m still a work in progress but it’s unbelievable to have a coach, and your national team manager, who believes in you the way Phil believes in me – and also the way he believes in all his players.”

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph