Goal Click and #WePlayStrong teamed up for a collaboration to tell the inside story of the UEFA Women’s Champions League, from the personal perspective of the players. Lucy Bronze (Lyon and England) documented her football life during the knockout stages of the UWCL.
Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your football life?
I play for Lyon and England. I grew up in the north east of England, played for many teams in the north of England, always wanting to get better and learn. I moved to France in 2017 to play for the best team in Europe, with a huge goal of winning the Champions League and wanting to play with the best players in the world. Two years later, playing with the best, I have won one Champions League, we’re into another final and I’m off to the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
What has been your football journey up until now?
I started playing football with my big brother, Jorge, I copied him for a good ten years growing up. All I ever wanted was to be just like him. At the age of 11 or 12 I got told I couldn’t play with my brother and the boys any more and had to find a girls team, which at the time was hard to find. But I broke into Academies and England teams. I was starting to get higher up the pyramid of football, and when I was 18 I was getting close to a senior call up, but then I got injured for over two years with 3 knee surgeries. It was a hard time for me, but made the come back even sweeter. Playing World Cups for England, Euros, scoring World Cup goals, a Champions League goal in the semi final, winning the Champions League, I’ve had more good times than bad, that is for sure.
What is your favourite photo? Why?
One of my favourite reasons for playing for Lyon is walking down this tunnel, at the big stadium with 25,000 fans, multiple times a season. When I play at this stadium, I really wish every game I played could be in a big stadium with huge crowds.
What did you try to show with the photos? Was there any wider meaning with any of the photos?
I was trying to capture the spirit of the team. We have such a wide range of personalities and cultures and languages, but I think you can see how much we enjoy being together, whether you speak the same language or not.
What are the biggest changes happening at the moment in women's football?
At this moment in time the biggest changes in women’s football have to be the sponsorships. I think the last 10 years has been spent trying to get the exposure, which I think has improved massively, which has now increased the sponsors. Now that there’s more money, I’d like to think the standard and quality of the game on the field will grow and thrive even more.
What does football mean to you? Do you have a message for the next generation of young female footballers
Football is just my life. It’s how I made friends. It’s how get to be myself. If I was a young girl growing up now in football, I would be so excited with all the possibilities out there. If you love playing and you love the game, then don’t stop and don’t give up. There are opportunities everywhere to be part of the game you love.
How have you felt when competing in the UEFA Women's Champions League?
I love competing in the Champions League. If anything, I wish we could play some more Champions League games and have a group stage like the men. The travel and all the lead-up to the games are so exciting. Especially the closer you get to the final, the games just get bigger and bigger.