Bronze targets European title with Lyon

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Lucy Bronze helped Manchester City win their first Women’s FA Cup in May

England right-back Lucy Bronze says she left Manchester City for Lyon to improve her technical skills and try to win the Women’s Champions League.

Bronze, 25, signed a three-year deal with the French champions on 18 August.

“Any player in Europe, female or male, would say the Champions League is the goal,” she told BBC Radio 5 live.

“I’ve come here wanting to win the champions league. At the age I’m at, and with the injuries that I have, I can’t take my time for granted.”

The former Liverpool Ladies player added: “I’ve got to seize any opportunity that I have to play at the highest level. For me, Lyon is playing at the highest level.”

Lyon, who saw Germany forward Pauline Bremer move in the other direction as part of Bronze’s deal, won their second consecutive European title in Cardiff in June and have lifted 11 domestic league titles in a row.

City – winners of the English Women’s Super League in 2016 – reached their first-ever Champions League semi-final in 2016-17, losing 3-2 to Lyon on aggregate.

“It’s not to put City down, because City are an unbelievable team,” added Bronze. “They are going to develop and grow to hopefully be similar to Lyon.

“It took me a week or so to really think about what I wanted. I was kind of divided, whether to stay and continue to grow the club and maybe become a team level with Lyon, or whether to go to Lyon now and really push myself.

“But I thought about when City played Lyon, and how much of a challenge it was to mark some of these players who are consistently named among the world’s best.

“I just want to be around that every single day, and push myself to be on a level with the likes of (France captain) Wendie Renard and (Germany’s) Dzsenifer Marozsan.

“My game needs to improve. My technical ability probably needs the most work, and the French are known for being one of the best technical teams in the world. Trying to emulate the things they do is going to push me on.”

Bronze not ruling out a WSL return in future

The former Sunderland and Everton full-back, who turned down the offer of a new deal at City which would have made her the highest earner in Nick Cushing’s side, is not ruling out a return to English club football in future.

“I would never say never to coming back to England, but at the same time I would never say never to staying in Lyon or going to Spain or Germany,” she said.

“I want to have won the Champions League at least once, and improve as a player. I’ve not quite hit my peak yet.

“The next two years especially are huge because the 2019 World Cup is in France. In the back of my mind, I’m preparing for that.

“Hopefully, if England make the World Cup final, it’ll be in a place that’s very familiar.”

Lyon’s Parc Olympique Lyonnais is set to host the final of the World Cup.

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