Karen Bardsley has paid tribute to the retiring Carli Lloyd, hailing the United States star and former City midfielder a ‘purposeful’ pioneer of the game.

Lloyd is set to call time on an illustrious and unforgettable career glittered with silverware and individual accolades, at the end of her Club season with NJ/NY Gotham.

A two-time Olympic gold medallist, World Cup winner and FIFA World Player of the Year, the 39-year-old will go down in history as one of the all-time greats of women’s football.


City and England goalkeeper Bardsley, who played alongside Lloyd for both City and Sky Blue FC, has paid tribute to her former teammate, praising her drive, diligence and work ethic.

“Overall, my overriding feeling is that I’m really impressed with her career,” KB reflected.

“I played with her at Sky Blue when she was starting to turn the corner and then she came to City, and I was really impressed with her work ethic and her willingness to do everything she could to win.

“She went from relative obscurity to breaking onto the scene to where she is now through sheer determination and will, and that is really impressive.

“I think the thing I found most interesting was that she knows herself and what makes her tick. That was probably the biggest takeaway from working with her: that she stuck to what she knew worked for her and she continued to get results from it.

“Everything she did had a purpose – she was diligent and steadfast about the way she did things – and it’s said that ‘purpose’ is the starting point of achievement.

“Ultimately, she came and gave us an insight into what it takes to win.”

During her time with City, Lloyd scored three goals in 11 appearances – a crucial goal in the FA Cup Final and two match-winning strikes in the Champions League, helping City to the semi-finals.

She was equally influential off the pitch – a role model for the younger players especially – and although thoroughly dedicated to remaining at the very top of her game, could definitely have some fun.

Sometimes, it even came at her own expense, as Bardsley explained…

“She scored some pretty important goals for us in the Champions League and FA Cup Final,” KB recalled.

“Winning the FA Cup at Wembley was a really special moment that I was really pleased to share with her – it was a first for both of us.

“She had really positive influence on most people. Georgia Stanway in particular was in awe of her. As a kid, she’d really looked up to Carli as a role model.

“After training in the morning, we’d have lunch and everyone would go off to get ready but Carli would linger around for a while to do another session. She would take herself out, put the cones out and do a session – whether that was speed, skill or fitness.

“A few times, we’d come to the training ground and she was already there, doing some stuff on the pitch or in the gym.

“We had some fun moments with her. There were a couple of times where Jill Scott and I happened to be around at the same time she was finishing training and we’d go for a walk, grab a coffee, sit and chat for ages about random stuff.

“I remember we went to meet some fans at All Star Lanes bowling alley. Our Club Photographer Tom Flathers was there and he was snapping away. He wanted a picture of all of the players – Carli, Jill Scott, Megan Campbell, Jane Ross and I – together on the lanes.

“We were all getting into position for the photo but we were waiting for Carli, who was putting her stuff away. She headed over all nonchalant but then she slipped!

“Thankfully, she was okay but it was the funniest thing! Megan even sprinted to the front desk to see the security camera footage! We still laugh about it today.

“It was like she was walking on ice – her feet went from underneath her and she hit the floor with a thud! It was certainly some impact!

“Carli definitely had an impact on a lot of players and I’m sure she’ll continue to do so in her next chapter.”

Seasoncards for the 2021/22 women’s season are now on sale.