Lucy Bronze is finally heading to her first Olympics this summer.
As many will know, Bronze is currently the most decorated footballer in England. The prolific defender has an impressive sum of awards on her trophy cabinet: Three Champions League titles, six league championships, five domestic cups and, last December, she was crowned Women’s Player Of The Year at FIFA’s Best Awards.
She also won the SheBelieves Cup with England in the USA, however, the lack of international trophies is what she’s hoping to rectify when Great Britain take on the rest of the world in Tokyo 2020.
The former Olympique Lyonnais defender says she won’t rest until she has won a major international tournament and believes this year’s Olympics offer the ideal chance for her and England to win the gold.
Born in Berwick, the Manchester City player is at the top of her game, but says she’s still motivated by the desire to succeed at international level.
“I haven’t won that gold medal or World Cup or Euros. I’m dying to get my hands on worldwide success at the highest level and I won’t be retiring until I get my hands on it; unless my body gives up on me,” told to the press.
“I’ve always said I want to win a trophy or gold medal with the national team and Great Britain is the perfect opportunity to do that.”
England will play in the opening match of the women’s football competition on July 21st, when they take on Chile in Sapporo. Three days later, they will meet the hosts in Sapporo again, before taking on Canada nearly 700 miles away in Kashima on July 27th.
With 12 teams in the competition, the top two sides in each of the three groups will go through to the quarter-finals, along with the two best third-place teams.
This is only the second time GB have submitted a ladies team into the Olympic Games (the first was in 2012) and Bronze says:
“We’re the only team going into the tournament that hasn’t been beaten in the last nine years!”
“That works to our advantage in being a new team. A lot of other teams might say we haven’t had much time to prepare, but the staff we have with GB are so well prepared anyway and the players have played in top countries and for top teams, including Champions League finals, so for us to come together has been quite slick and quite easy”, she added.
“The pressure will come from ourselves. We have an expectation that we want to get on the podium and win gold because we have the players and quality to do that regardless of what England, Scotland and Wales have done. We are coming together to create a different environment.”
Like Bronze, all the players will have to win a first women’s football medal for GB without the support of their families or crowds, which she says is “not great”. But she said:
“We know we are in a fortunate position to even go to the Olympics so we will look on the positive side.
“We are going to represent GB, which 90% of us have never done before and 90% of families have never been part of that. I went to my mum’s house recently and she said she was part of the Team GB family and friends group on Facebook and was buzzing about a T-shirt which was on its way.
“We know the support from back home will be immense,” she concluded.
We’ll have to wait a few weeks for the Olympic Games to start, so we can finally see if Bronze and Team’s GB is capable of achieving the glory at Tokyo 2020 and win the gold medals they’ve been dreaming for so long. Now, the question is: Will they be able to reach the Olympic dream?