Women's Euros: Bronze opens up on playing through injury after helping England to Wembley final

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England star Lucy Bronze has revealed she is playing through pain caused by a knee injury in order to help the Lionesses' bid a first major tournament victory, having netted in a 4-0 semi-final rout of Sweden.

Bronze's header put England two goals up against the Swedes at Bramall Lane, after which Alessia Russo's incredible backheel and Fran Kirby's long-range strike helped the hosts record the biggest ever victory in a Women's Euro semi-final.

Tournament hosts England, beaten European Championship finalists in both 1984 and 2009, will now take part in the showpiece final at Wembley on Sunday.

And Bronze, who scooped FIFA's The Best Women's Player award in 2020, is blocking out the pain in an attempt to help her country to glory, as she played down her last-four goalscoring feat.

"I've just got to play through it," Bronze said. "There are plenty of players who are having to play through pain in their career and I'm now one of them.

"I don't feel like I did a couple of years ago. The Lucy Bronze of a couple of years ago was 'the best player in the world'.

"It's been difficult to come back from a knee injury which has lingered for a very long time and still is now."

Bronze added: "The goals and assists are not something I consider a major part of my game. I'd much rather the likes of Beth and Ellen [White] and Hempo [Lauren Hemp] get on the scoresheet. I enjoyed it, though. I'd not scored in a Euros.

"I'm still happy to be contributing to the team, still playing good football, obviously getting an assist for Beth [Mead] and getting her up there to get the Golden Boot. It would be nice to be part of her little individual journey."

England ended a run of three successive major semi-final defeats with their resounding win in Sheffield, having fallen in the final four at the 2017 Euros and the 2015 and 2019 World Cups.

And Bronze believes those painful experiences made Tuesday's win even sweeter, adding: "For players like myself and Ellen and Fran, who've experienced a lot of semi-final defeats, it's nice to get over those defeats, get over the line and finally get ourselves in the final. But it’s certainly not job done."

Meanwhile, England boss Sarina Wiegman has come in for praise after leading the side through an unprecedented 11-match winning streak, the Lionesses scoring 104 goals in her 19 games at the helm.

Bronze believes Wiegman's ability to keep the squad grounded has been a major factor in their terrific run on home soil, adding: "It's just practical information she's giving. I think that being Dutch, she's to the point. She tries not to get carried away.

"It's quite funny that pretty much everyone in the whole of Holland said they've never seen Sarina Wiegman jump around like she did after the Spain game!

"I think she said herself that the Spanish performance was one of the best she'd ever seen – to come through that was amazing not just for the team but for her as a manager and coach.

"In a home Euros there's a lot of emotion and a lot of support. We don't want to get carried away too much and she's one of those people that is very process-driven.

"She's very excited, but once the game's done we're on to the next game. We don't get carried away with our emotions but on and off the field we still enjoy the game and still enjoy the moment at the right time."

Sarina Wiegman
Sarina Wiegman
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