Lucy Bronze insists she’s back in England to complete “unfinished business” by winning the Champions League with Manchester City.
The recently crowned FIFA Women’s Player for 2020 re-signed with City in the summer after celebrating her third successive European title with Lyon.
Despite her love for the club, Bronze admits she was in talks with City for some time but needed reassurances they were in a position to potentially become the first English winner of the competition for more than a decade.
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“I knew I wanted to come back to England, City was always the place I wanted to come back to but it was whether our ambitions matched,” Bronze exclusively told Sky Sports News.
“I’ve come from winning the Champions League, I need to be kept in that challenge and be in a team that’s really going to fight for it.
“It was after Christmas and they (Manchester City) were saying ‘we’re going to sign these American World Cup stars, we’re going to sign this person, we’re going for it’ and I thought ‘I’ve heard this one before, we’ll see.'”
City’s intentions were clear in the summer, signing USA internationals Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle as well as England pair Chloe Kelly from Everton and Bronze’s team-mate at Lyon Alex Greenwood.
“I was getting my heart set on it and they didn’t let me down. They signed all these fantastic players, we have an amazing squad and I couldn’t be happier.
“I’ve said it to Gareth Taylor, I told him ‘I don’t care, I want to win the Champions League.’ I want to win it with City, I want to do it as an English player with an English club and really feel that moment and make history.”
Bronze has enjoyed a remarkable 2020 on the pitch, winning the treble at Lyon before being part of the City team that beat Everton in the rescheduled FA Cup Final in November.
The 29-year old hasn’t played for England in more than 13 months due to injury and the COVID-19 pandemic but that hasn’t stopped her from getting excited about England’s future head coach Sarina Wiegman, who takes over after the Olympics.
“As soon as I heard her name I was like ‘it needs to be her’. There’s something about how what she’s done with Holland and how successful she’s been.
“She’s won ‘Best Coach in the World’, she sets a high standard, it’s exactly what we’re looking. Her English is perfect, she knows how to win a home Euros, she knows women’s football inside out. She ticks all the boxes and everyone’s super excited to be working with her.”
Bronze admits she’s still coming to terms with the title ‘Best in the World’ after her success at the FIFA awards but thinks her ultra-competitive nature is a big reason for her individual success.
“There’s got to be something world-class or something that makes you special among these players. You look at someone like Lionel Messi and it’s always been his natural talent, you look at Cristiano Ronaldo’s work ethic and I think I’m probably in that bracket.
“I just hate losing. I hate losing more than I like winning, that’s just how I’ve been brought up. My big brother’s probably a part of that, he never let me win and if I did win it was because I was better than him. It’s in my DNA to be a competitor.”
Bronze is yet to be awarded the actual FIFA Best trophy but when she does she’ll be just as pleased for her loved ones as she is herself.
“I’m happy for my family, they’re the ones that have been there when I’ve been injured, I’ve been crying, I’ve been lost.
“A couple of them were watching the awards crying. The fact they’re so proud of me makes me think winning these trophies does mean something.”
Manchester City are through to the last 16 of the Champions League and Bronze is expected to be a member of the GB Olympics squad this summer meaning there are plenty more honours up for grabs in 2021.
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