Women's Team

Lucy Bronze: Next three years huge for women’s game

Lucy Bronze has declared the next three years the most important in the history of women’s football in England.

The Olympics, the European Championships and the World Cup will be contested consecutively over the next three summers, giving Bronze and her international colleagues the opportunity to take the women’s game to new heights.

It is an opportunity the Manchester City defender is familiar with.

Six years ago today, she helped England to a third-place finish in the 2015 World Cup, a tournament in which the Lionesses were catapulted into the spotlight as they won the hearts and minds of a nation.

And, as the 29-year-old prepares to embark on her first Olympic campaign with Team GB, she says the significance of the next three summers cannot be overstated.

“I think this is the biggest three years of women’s football in England,” she told mancity.com

“The Olympics is huge, especially considering the only other Olympic team we had was because the tournament was in our own country.

“To be allowed to have the team is amazing. We missed out on that opportunity in Rio, although we would have qualified [with bronze medal finish at 2015 World Cup].

“The Euros next year in England will be massive too and of course, World Cups are always big.

“Having those three in a row is insane. Any player who can be part of one or all three will be very lucky to have that on their CV – being part of the momentum and change in women’s football.”

Bronze is one of 10 City players in the 18 strong Team GB squad heading to Tokyo this summer.

They will be hoping to eclipse the efforts of the 2012 cohort, who reached the quarter-finals as Great Britain entered a team in the women’s football event for the first time.

Head Coach Hege Riise has a squad packed with talent and experience of winning things at a domestic level, including Bronze, who was named 2020 FIFA Best Women’s Player of the Year and is a three-time Champions League winner.

The right-back heads to the Olympics full of confidence and is optimistic Team GB and England have the potential to enjoy a golden few years.

“We have exceptional talent across all of our nations to have been able to build a really good Great Britain team,” she added.

“We have a mixture of all sorts of players. That’s exciting.

“I wholeheartedly believe we will win a medal – even gold – at the Olympics and win the Euros or the World Cup, and I’m very optimistic in saying we want to win all three.

“It’s a very difficult thing to do but it’s something we’ve set our minds on. We want to win something so why not all three?

“We have the quality to do it – whoever is picked has the quality – and we’ve been close in the past number of years with the England team making finals.

“There’s no reason why we can’t make that step now.”