It was in December 2020, at the age of 29, that Manchester City’s Lucy Bronze was named FIFA’s best women’s player of the year. Emulating the great, World Cup-winning Fabio Cannavaro, she became not only the second ever defender to win a FIFA best player award; she also became the first female and first England player to do so. None other than Robert Lewandowski, a prolific striker, was recognised in the same category for men.
“She is an unrivalled talent,” says her manager at club level, Gareth Taylor. “Her endless individual and team awards only scratch the surface of what a superb player she is, not only at club level, but also internationally with England.”
Alex Scott, Bronze’s predecessor as England right-back and now a respected broadcaster, agrees: “To take my place, she had to become stronger, she had to become fitter, as well as all the other attributes – and that’s what she did. She went away and built herself into a machine.”