Lucy Bronze is delighted that her future at the club was set before the start of this summer’s Euro Cup campaign with England, after she chose to move to Barcelona rather than return to Lyon.
It was announced in May that the right-back was leaving Manchester City at the end of his contract and last weekend a move to Barca was finalized on a two-year deal.
Barça were champions of the Champions League in 2021 and runners-up last season, losing in the final to Lyon, for which Bronze played from 2017 to 2020.
Asked if it was good to go to Euro with a clear head after completing the transfer, the 30-year-old, holder of 89 caps for England, said: “Definitely.
“It was pretty much done the week after the season ended, I just had to find time to sort it all out. It was hard to keep my mouth shut because it was obviously so exciting.
“The only thing I said to Barça and my agent was that I want it done before the tournament, that it be done, that it get out of the way. I want to be able to focus on England, I don’t want questions about which club you go to next and all the talk and gossip around that. I just wanted to be focused on playing well for England.
“At the end of the season, it gave me a lot of confidence. I received offers from Lyon and Barça, the two best teams in the world. It wasn’t bad being able to choose that and make my decision.
“It gives me a lot of confidence as a player to know that these great teams that are so successful want to sign me, they want me to play, they know that I can make a difference for their team.”
Bronze lifted the Champions League three times during his time with Lyon, which came between two spells at City.
“I knew I wanted to play abroad again,” said Bronze, who was named FIFA’s 2020 Player of the Year.
“I honestly think my experience at Lyon was the best moment of my career, the best moments of my career.
“Going out and pushing myself into a different culture, a different experience, playing with the best players in the world – having the chance to do that again was a no-brainer.”
Euro hosts England, who on Friday face the Netherlands at Elland Road in the second of three warm-up games, face Austria at Old Trafford in the opening match of the tournament on 6 July.
The second game of the group stage will be at Amex Stadium, against a team from Norway, with Ada Hegerberg back in the squad.
Bronze played with Hegerberg at Lyon and said of the 2018 Ballon d’Or winning striker: “Ada is just a winner, the girl is crazy in that aspect. I remember games where she would come up to me before and say, ‘Just put the ball in the box and I’ll score.’
“She’s just obsessed with scoring, she’s obsessed with wanting to win the ball. There aren’t many number nines that can score goals and then come back and make tackles and put their body on the line.
“She’s so tall and has pace and strength, good form. I think what sets her apart for me is this crazy mindset that she has, it’s something you can’t really affect. You can’t really get inside her head – I can try!”
Hegerberg, who returned to action last October after 20 months out of injury due to injury, returned to the Norwegian national team in March for the first time in five years – she decided to step away from the team in 2017 as she was dissatisfied with the path. women’s football was running in the country.
She scored a goal and prepared another when Lyon beat Barça 3-1 in the Champions League final in May.