Lucy Bronze has finally laid the ghost of World Cup semi-final exits

Lucy Bronze has laid the ghost of her crushing World Cup semi-final defeats in 2015 and 2019 – now after years of heartbreak, the veteran defender finally has her shot at earning England glory into the final

  • England suffered dramatic semi-final losses in each of their last two World Cups
  • Bronze has been ever-present for the Lionesses and was part of all three squads
  • WATCH: Wiegman CAN’T recall Lauren James, Mail Sport’s Chris Sutton says

‘This is the one thing I’ve always wanted, to be in the final of a World Cup,’ admitted an emotional Lucy Bronze in the aftermath of England’s 3-1 win against Australia on Wednesday. 

She and her team mates had finally ended the succession of semi-final failures in the competition, following heartbreaking losses in 2015 and 2019. 

Bronze, one of only two players – along with Alex Greenwood  – to be a part of all three squads, has been one of the country’s most influential players during that time period. 

At the domestic level she has collected a trove of team and individual honours, including four Champions League’s, seven league titles and The Best FIFA Women’s Player award in 2020. 

While for England she has been ever-present since making her debut in 2013 before earning 111 caps to date. 

It was despair for Lucy Bronze in back-to-back World Cup semi-finals as England went down to defending champions and eventual winners USA in France 

England booked their place in the final of the World Cup with a 3-1 victory against Australia

Lucy Bronze (right) has been ever present for the Lionesses and starred as the side progressed

Sunday’s final against a Spain team that includes several of her Barcelona team mates, offers the chance to complete a stunning European Championship and World Cup double for many in the squad. 

And that carries a special significance for 31-year-old, who has been witnessed the remarkable transformation of the Lionesses under boss Sarina Wiegman. 

‘In 2015 it was heart-breaking because of how it happened.’ she told the Mirror, recalling Laura Bassett’s cruel own goal that saw England knocked out by Japan.

‘I don’t think a team’s suffered a defeat in the last minute because of a fluky own goal. And for me, 2019 was a heartache because it had been my best year in the game. 

‘Everything seemed to be going my way and then the semi-final hit me like a tonne of stones. So, it does feel like a relief.

‘I said to Jess Carter and Beth England: ‘You must think England just get to finals. You haven’t been there in Canada, France or in Holland for the 2017 Euros.

‘Defeat after defeat in semi-finals. To have finally made it is a dream come true.’

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