- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Lionesses lynchpin Lucy Bronze is adamant EURO 2022 will prove the quality of international women's football is at an all-time high, writes Rachel Steinberg in Manchester.
England could have drawn Olympic silver medallists Sweden or fast-improving Spain but avoided those perils at a star-studded draw in Manchester.
But Bronze was more excited about the bigger picture.
“It’s crazy now, because I think in the Euros so many teams are good,” she said.
“I think in years gone by it was like, Germany and Norway, whereas now Spain are good, so’s Sweden, so’s France, so’s England, so’s Holland.
“The list just goes on and on. It’s exciting."
Bronze celebrated her 30th birthday at last night’s gala, having been a mainstay of the Lionesses since making her debut in 2013.
She was a key part of the England squad who fell at the hands of the eventual winners Netherlands—then coached by current England boss Sarina Wiegman—in the 2017 semi-final.
Eighth-ranked England dispatched North Macedonia, Luxembourg, Northern Ireland and Latvia in their first four World Cup qualifying contests, outscoring their opponents 32-0.
But Bronze insisted her squad’s dominance, including a hat-trick from Manchester United's breakout star Ella Toone, speaks as much to the Lionesses’ potential as it does their inferior opponents.
She said: “I think we're well organised in attack, I think we play a lot of free flowing football, I think the stats speak for themselves.
"The amount of goals that we're scoring, we're creating. Equally we know that the games have been against lower-end opposition but you can only play what's in front of you.
“So far, we've made a good style of attack and created a lot of goals and scored a lot of goals which is what fans really wanted to see from us.”
Bronze’s wealth of experience will prove invaluable to England next summer, but there’s one term she balks at.
“I’m not appreciative of being called a ‘senior’ player,” she said.
“But I like winding the younger kids up. I was quite fortunate that I played for England when Fara Williams played.
“She’s set a good example for me as a senior player, not overly serious and overly hard on the kids, but equally push them and challenge them.
“I like to think I’ve got a good balance of that.”
The UEFA Women’s EURO England 2022 ticket ballot application window is now open and closes 16 November. For more information and to enter the public ballot for tickets, visitwww.uefa.com/womenseuro/ticketing