Lucy Bronze is keeping her head as she prepares for Euros semi-final

‘I’m one of those people who doesn’t get too far ahead of themselves’: Lionesses star Lucy Bronze is keeping her head as she prepares for Tuesday’s Euros semi-final against Sweden after seven years of heartbreak

  • Lucy Bronze has lost three semi-finals with England in a row since 2015
  • She has won three Champions Leagues in a glittering club career
  • The 30-year-old described playing for England as ‘her biggest focus’
  • England take on Sweden in the Euros semi final next Tuesday at Bramall Lane

As songs by ABBA and Celine Dion blared from the England dressing room in the aftermath of their dramatic quarter-final victory over Spain, a composed and reflective Lucy Bronze was sat in the tunnel, taking it all in.

‘After the game there were a few rowdy players and celebrations in the changing room,’ said Bronze. ‘I’m one of those people who doesn’t get too far ahead of themselves and too caught up in it.

‘I was sitting in the tunnel for a while with the photographer. I think I’ve very much taken that role in the team. The one who is kind of cool, calm and collected.’

England star Lucy Bronze has lost three semi-finals in a row with the national team since 2015

Bronze, 30, has been here before. Three semi-finals in a row have all ended in heartbreaking defeat.

The first came in 2015 against Japan, the second against Sarina Wiegman’s Holland side two years later but it was the third, against the United States in the 2019 World Cup, which hit Bronze the hardest.

‘2019 was one of my best years not only in an England shirt but just in general,’ said Bronze. ‘Every time I was on the pitch it felt like I couldn’t do much wrong. To be on that high and to be at the top of my game, to be one of the best players in the world and have that dream of winning the World Cup.

‘I was playing in France, which was the country I was living in at the time, in the stadium that I lived right next door to. It was what dreams are made of.

‘So it probably hit me a lot harder than other people because I guess when you’re in the best form of your life, you feel like this is your time.

The 30-year-old has won three Champions League titles in a glittering club career

‘I think that World Cup probably taught me more than anything else has. Even when you’re at your best things can always go wrong.

‘It’s probably why I’m more cool, calm and collected now. Because I’ve been at the very high heights and still been knocked down. It’s a feeling I don’t particularly enjoy being reminded about, but it was something I learned a lot from.’

Bronze, who left Manchester City this summer to join Barcelona, has won everything at club level, including three Champions League titles with Lyon. But the one thing missing from her trophy cabinet is an international honour, something she is desperate to achieve.

‘I think a lot of people ask what my motivation still is when I’m playing because obviously I’ve won a lot of trophies previously both in a team and individually. England has always been my biggest focus, and my entire career I’ve wanted to lift a trophy for England.

Ella Toone scored England’s vital equaliser in the quarter-final against Spain in Brighton

‘Arguably there’s only lifting a European Championship in your home country, and lifting the World Cup is probably the only thing that’s equal to that. It’s a huge opportunity. That’s very much on my list of things to tick off, lifting the trophy for England.’

The Lionesses were trailing 1-0 in the quarter-final against Spain until Ella Toone equalised in the 84th minute. Despite being behind late in the game, England did not panic and their strength in depth got them over the line.

‘It’s probably the most relaxed we’ve been as an England team in a tournament, and certainly in my time anyway,’ said Bronze.

‘We’ve spoken about the strength of the squad. I’ve been lucky enough to be in some very strong England squads previously, but the depth we have, the level we can train at, is incredible.

Sarina Wiegman’s side face Sweden in the European Championship semi final on Tuesday

‘I think that’s why we’re seeing these performances, whether it’s seeing games out against Spain or winning 8-0 against Norway.’

Standing in England’s way are Sweden. They edged past Belgium with a 92nd-minute winner on Friday and have perhaps not yet hit their peak in this tournament.

‘I think Sweden probably haven’t looked their strongest but we all know they’re the highest-ranked team coming into this tournament,’ said Bronze.

‘We know to expect everything, we’re expecting to have Sweden come out all guns blazing and have their best performance against us because they’ve got just as much to play for as we have.’

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