When you have achieved all there is to achieve, the questions are always ventured: ‘Where do you go from here? What's next? How do you keep yourself motivated?’
The answer is: to find a new goal.
City and England star Lucy Bronze (celebrating her 29th birthday today) boasts a CV glittering with trophies and medals: a stunning selection of individual and collective accolades – some of the highest honours on offer.
Widely regarded as the best player in the world, the defender had to make a life-changing decision to follow her dream, uprooting and heading to France to ply her trade with Olympique Lyonnais in the hope of tasting Champions League success.
Three European Cups (plus six domestic titles and plenty of acclaim) later, the right-back has returned to Manchester to chase a new dream, as a self-professed superior player, person and leader.
So, what’s next for the 2019 UEFA Player of the Year...? To repeat that success in her home country.
Bronze’s new goal could not be more exciting for the English game, as the 29-year-old seeks to elevate the FA Women’s Super League to the best league in the world.
The summer of 2020 marked a watershed moment for the WSL with the arrival of some of the globe’s hottest talents and biggest names, including Bronze herself.
Attracting players of such calibre has signalled the loudest statement of intent for our top flight – and Bronze aims to capitalise on the opportunity to further strengthen the game for Club and country, by imparting her vast knowledge, wisdom and experience to the younger generations.
“Trying to make the English league the best in the world is one of my goals,” she said.
“I needed to come back and be successful in England. I’ve come back a better player, better leader and better person, who is capable of bringing success domestically and internationally.
“I went to Lyon to win the Champions League and play with the best players in the world – and now, I want to come back and have the same success in England.
“No English team has ever won the Champions League (although Arsenal won the UEFA Cup) so I have my sights set on that.
“I’ve won it three times in a row – why not four times? There’s only one other English person who has ever won it four times so that would be a new achievement I could do.
“I want to help the national team too. I want to help the young players become the best they can be. I want to teach them – take them under my wing and say: ‘This is how you win, this is how to be the best, this is what you need to do for Club and country.’
“I’ve watched the English league every year and I’d always said to the French girls: ‘The way things are going, the English league is going to be the best league in the world.’
“Now, compared to when I left, the league has changed rapidly. That’s what I wanted. When I did leave, I’d wanted it a little quicker – I’m a very impatient person!
“We’re definitely getting there. Now, the league is in a much better place.
“You can see how much the teams have improved. Players want to come and play in England – the French players would say: ‘Wow, England looks amazing. I want to play there one day!’
“The aspiration for a lot of top players is to come to England.
“Being English, I’m proud of that – the only way I could show it was by coming back to play in England, and I’m so excited to see what the coming years will bring.”
Happy birthday, Lucy!