September 10, 2019 | News | No Comments
The England full-back was key in Phil Neville’s team reaching the Women’s World Cup semi-finals after a stunning display against Norway
England midfielder Fran Kirby described Lucy Bronze as “one of the best players in the world” after she starred in the Lionesses’ 3-0 win over Norway in the Women’s World Cup quarter-finals.
Bronze helped her team get off to the perfect start when she drove down the right and cut the ball back to Jill Scott, who put England ahead after just two minutes.
But it was the full-back’s thunderous strike from outside the area in the second half which grabbed the headlines, with Phil Neville calling for her to win the Ballon d’Or after the game.
Kirby lauded her in the same vein, saying: “Lucy is absolutely fantastic, one of the best players in the world.
“It’s fantastic to have her on our team. When she gets the ball and she’s driving with it, there’s not many that can stop her.
“If she continues to play as she has done throughout the tournament, it’s exciting for us.”
Despite England’s performances having many ups and downs so far this tournament, Bronze has been key in helping them to the semi-finals.
Defensively, although there were concerns coming into the summer, she has been unbeatable, while lighting up the final third going forward.
“Lucy has been consistent throughout her career and to have someone like that in your team, who can grab the game by the scruff of the neck and do one of those powerful drives forward is exciting,” Kirby continued.
“It’s the way we want to play. When she is scoring goals like that, you just have to bow down to her.
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“She’s absolutely one of the best players in the world.”
Bronze could come up against as many as eight of her Olympique Lyonnais team-mates in the semi-finals, if France can beat the USA.
It will be a third successive semi-final in a major tournament for both her and Kirby too, who was also part of the teams that made the last four in Canada in 2015 and the Netherlands in 2017.
But, while reaching yet another semi-final is a fantastic achievement, Kirby doesn’t want to dwell on that.
“We want to go one better,” the 25-year-old said. “We’ve been to two semi-finals and we don’t want to feel that hurt again.
“We can’t focus on being in three semi-finals. We need to go one better, get to that final and come away with a World Cup winners’ medal.
“This team is onto something special,” Kirby continued. “It’s really exciting to be a part of.
“We have to build momentum and we’re doing that game-by-game.”
England will play their semi-final at Stade de Lyon on Tuesday July 2, with kick-off 8pm BST (3pm ET).