Teamwork makes the dream work

England need to make historical past and win Euros once more Bronze

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England and Barcelona defender Lucy Bronze has stated the “lengthy objective” for the Lionesses is to make historical past and turn into back-to-back European Champions.

The Lionesses start their journey of defending their Euro 2022 title on Friday, once they host Sweden at Wembley Stadium earlier than travelling to face the Republic of Eire in Dublin on Tuesday as qualifiers for the 2025 instalment of the event start.

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It will likely be the primary time that England start a marketing campaign because the reigning champions, one thing that provides extra willpower for the crew, Bronze stated in a information convention on Friday.

“Clearly, we need to qualify for the Euros, and that is the objective for this marketing campaign, however the lengthy objective would clearly be to win the event,” she stated.

“We go into each event eager to win it, however that may be a particular a part of historical past to be a crew that might probably go back-to-back at a event. It is troublesome in any event, whether or not it is the WSL [Women Super League], the Champions League, however it will be a next-level achievement to try this on a world stage.”

The Lionesses defeated Sweden 4-0 within the semifinal of Euro 2022 at Bramall Lane, the place Alessia Russo scored the well-known backheel objective that was nominated for the 2023 Puskas Award.

While Bronze acknowledged the reminiscences and rivalry between the edges, her focus is ready on what England can do on their return to Wembley — the place they lifted the Euros — for the primary time this calendar yr.

“Clearly, it brings again reminiscences from the Euros. I do not suppose we have talked about that recreation, however I do suppose there is a good rivalry between us and Sweden. I do know once I’ve been taking part in, we have all the time had rivalry in tournaments.

“They seem to be a good crew, a robust crew however we’re very a lot targeted on what they’re like within the right here and now and the truth that we at Wembley is one thing we’re actually enthusiastic about.

“We need to get all of the followers again. We have the chance if entrance of our followers towards crew so we’re very a lot targeted on that recreation. Possibly the followers can really feel that second of the Euros and take into consideration them, and hopefully, it will get them excited for what occurs tomorrow.”

England had been drawn into Group C1, arguably the hardest group of the event, with three of the 4 groups rating in FIFA’s high 10. To qualify robotically for the Euros, England (ranked second) should defeat France (ranked third), Sweden (ranked sixth) and the Republic of Eire (ranked twenty fifth) and end within the high two of the group.

Ending within the backside two locations would see the reigning champions enter a playoff to qualify.

The Lionesses didn’t qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics in December after failing to make it out of the Nations League group stage, which acted as a qualification course of.

Supervisor Sarina Wiegman, talking alongside Bronze, admitted that the frustration was powerful to take however the crew have had loads of time to reset and concentrate on the qualifiers after taking part in a pleasant camp in February in Marbella.

“From the second in December that we knew we did not qualify, which was arduous anyway with solely two groups qualifying excluding France, we wished to reset and prepare for the primary recreation, which is now Sweden tomorrow,” she stated.

“We used the camp in February to have a reset second, prepare and focus absolutely on the qualifiers for the Euros. They had been friendlies, however we did not actually strategy them as friendlies. They gave us the chance to play many gamers and see the place we’re at as people but additionally as a crew and the way gamers relate to one another.

“Now it is for a qualifier. It is completely a chance for us to point out once more what we will do and the way good we will play, and that is actually what we need to do tomorrow.”