Lucy Bronze: ‘I won’t retire until I win at international level’


No current English footballer is more decorated than Lucy Bronze. Yet, for her, it isn’t enough.

Already in the trophy cabinet are three Champions League titles, six league championships, five domestic cups and last December she was crowned women’s player of the year at Fifa’s Best Awards.

But the Manchester City and England defender, 29, says she won’t rest until she has won a major international tournament and believes the Tokyo Olympics offer the ideal chance for her and Great Britain.

“I get asked a lot, ‘what motivates you now you’ve won everything?’ But I haven’t won everything,” Bronze tells BBC Sport.

“I haven’t won that gold medal or World Cup or Euros. I’m dying to get my hands on worldwide success at the highest level and I won’t be retiring until I get my hands on it – unless my body gives up on me.

“You will have to scrape me off the pitch in the end.

“I’ve always said I want to win a trophy or gold medal with the national team and Great Britain is the perfect opportunity to do that.”

‘This gold medal is coming back to Great Britain’
Bronze, who won her club trophies with Liverpool, Manchester City and Lyon, was also part of an England team which won the 2019 SheBelieves Cup and with 15 of the 18-player squad in Tokyo coming from the Lionesses team, it will have a largely English feel to it.

But she says the fact England have lost nine of their last 14 games will have little bearing on what happens with Hege’s Riise’s Olympics side, who face Chile in their opening game in Sapporo on 21 July before group games against hosts Japan on 24 July and then Canada three days later.

She says having two Scots, Kim Little and Caroline Weir, plus Wales skipper Sophie Ingle will add a different “dynamic” and “culture”.

And being only the second time GB has submitted a women’s football team at the Olympics – they reached the last eight in 2012 – means the squad is unburdened by past results, despite having their warm-up match against Zambia cancelled because of coronavirus complications.

“We’re the only team going into the tournament that hasn’t been beaten in the last nine years!” jokes Bronze.

“That works to our advantage in being a new team. A lot of other teams might say we haven’t had much time to prepare, but the staff we have with GB are so well prepared anyway and the players have played in top countries and for top teams, including Champions League finals, so for us to come together has been quite slick and quite easy.

“The pressure will come from ourselves. We have an expectation that we want to get on the podium and win gold because we have the players and quality to do that regardless of what England, Scotland and Wales have done. We are coming together to create a different environment.”

She added: “Last year I was super excited because of the players we had to pick from.

“I was thinking ‘this gold medal is coming back to Great Britain’ and my mindset has not changed one bit, even having to wait another 12 months for it to come around.

“The talent we have got, there’s no reason why we can’t beat any team out there.”

Like Bronze, all the players will have to win a first women’s football medal for GB without the support of their families or crowds, which she says is “not great”.

But she added: “We know we are in a fortunate position to even go to the Olympics so we will look on the positive side.

“We are going to represent GB, which 90% of us have never done before and 90% of families have never been part of that. I went to my mum’s house recently and she said she was part of the Team GB family and friends group on Facebook and was buzzing about a T-shirt which was on its way.

“We know the support from back home will be immense.”



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