Lucy Bronze expects women’s football to go from strength to strength in England following the Lionesses’ stunning success at Euro 2022.
The right-back admits the past week has been a blur as she and her team-mates have celebrated their tournament victory.
The triumph, sealed by beating Germany in the final after extra time at Wembley on July 31, has brought unprecedented attention to the women’s game in the UK.
Bronze has seen the game’s profile grow considerably during her career and is confident that will continue.
The 30-year-old told the PA news agency: “It’s been over a week now but it still feels like it was yesterday. They’re memories that will live at the forefront of our brains for the rest of our lives.
“Women’s football, when I started, was quite low in terms of funding and crowds. We’ve had to build it up a lot.
“I’m so happy I’ve been part of this journey where I’ve seen it at the very bottom and come to the very top, winning a major tournament with England.
“To have the perspective and see how everything has changed and for the good of the game – to have been a small part of that is amazing.
“The Women’s Super League is going from strength to strength and, as an England team, the FA continue to push us and want us to do better.
“We’ve got great young players coming through and we can see now the media and sponsors are more behind us. That will help grow the game as well.
“As long as everyone carries on being on board with it, and we carry on performing on the pitch, there is no reason why we can’t keep continuing this legacy we have kicked off by winning the tournament.”
Bronze, who started every game at the Euros and teed up Chloe Kelly’s winner in the final, has enjoyed glittering career at club level. Her honours include WSL wins with both Liverpool and Manchester City as well as Champions League success with Lyon. She also won FIFA’s women’s world player of year award in 2020 and is joining Barcelona next season.
Euros glory with the Lionesses, however, beats the lot.
“It’s definitely got to be at the top,” she said. “From a young age, the first thing I could really think of was wanting to play for England, wanting to win a trophy.
“To have finally done that after several tournaments being so close and to do it in the fashion we have done – there is no better way to do it than at home, at Wembley, against the Germans.”
Bronze was speaking at the National Football Museum in Manchester to mark the ‘activation’ of a project with Lego, in which children’s groups are invited to participate in activities.
As part of the partnership, the museum will display a full-size replica of the Euros trophy built with 2,944 Lego bricks.
The museum also opened a new exhibition dedicated to the history of the women’s game this summer.
Entitled ‘Crossing the Line’, the exhibition chronicles the game’s early growth, the effects on it of the Football Association’s de facto ban in 1921, its survival and its resurgence in recent decades.
Split into halves focusing on history and the present day, it runs until the end of the year.
Bronze said: “With Lego, we’re challenging the gender stereotypes – similar to what we do in women’s football – and just encouraging kids to be creative.
“And being at the museum, the exhibition goes along with that, showing the history of what women’s football has had to overcome and why it is so important that we celebrate every win – not just the trophies – but every win we have in women’s football.”
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