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Defender Lucy Bronze and midfielder Kiera Walsh have plenty in common. Both players joined FC Barcelona last summer from Manchester City and both were part of the victorious England side that beat Germany 2-1 in the final of Euro 2022 at Wembley Stadium.
Furthermore, with International Women’s Day upon us, both are in agreement about their role in helping promote women in sport and what needs to be done to get more girls involved in football in particular. “We have to use our platform and the stage we have been given to have our voices heard. We have a huge responsibility,” said Bronze in a remote joint press conference with international media including Goal.com, Zhibo 8, Titan Sports, the BBC, The Times, The Guardian, The Athletic, inews.co.uk, The Daily Mail and The Sun.
For midfielder Walsh, accessibility is key for promoting female participation in football. “In inner-city areas there is not much opportunity for girls to play football, there is not a lot of access to pitches,” she reflected.
With FC Barcelona putting together a series of initiatives to highlight the role of women in sport during the month of March, Lucy Bronze was keen to point out the success of the Club’s efforts in this area. “The Club really helps the players to grow collectively and individually. There are as many posters of the women’s team as the men’s team at Spotify Camp Nou. Sharing the spotlight can really make a difference,” added the defender.
“If we want to push women’s sport on we want to be supported by people who share the philosophy that we do as players. We want to be fully inclusive; we welcome everybody to our sport.”
Getter better and challenges ahead
On the field, both players admitted that coming to Barça last summer has helped them develop as players. “I’ve made massive improvements in my game, the way that I move, how fast that I think, and that comes from playing with the best players in the world,” confessed Keira Walsh.
For this Club, the Champions League is the pinnacle“ Lucy Bronze
For Lucy Bronze, having experience of playing outside England with Olympique Lyonnais in France helped her decide to join Barça: “Personally, I like challenges, like to be pushed, coming to Barça I had to learn, coming here I knew it could help me, I can still learn at 31 years of age.”
With the Champions League quarter-final against Italian side AS Roma on the horizon Lucy Bronze admitted there is expectation: “For this Club the Champions League is the pinnacle, we know we can win it, although there are other teams who think that too.”
Kiera Walsh in the remote press conference with international media
Keira Walsh was clear that being clinical in front of goal is key in European competition. “The further you go in the Champions League, the better defences you come up against so you will create fewer chances, so we need to put them away.”
Finally, both players coincided about the unique nature of playing for Barça, with the supporters appreciating ‘the good football’ the team plays and their style. “I have never played in front of fans like Barça’s,” concluded an impressed Kiera Walsh.
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