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Phil Neville: 'I never played to that level she plays at - she's the best player in the world'

England and Lyon defender Lucy Bronze was incredible in the Lionesses’ World Cup quarter-final win against Norway.

England ace Lucy Bronze.
England ace Lucy Bronze.

PHIL NEVILLE HAS heaped praise on to England right-back Lucy Bronze after her player-of-the-match display against Norway in the Women’s World Cup quarter-final.

The Lionesses won the clash in Le Havre 3-0, with Bronze playing a huge part in all three goals.

It was her dribble and cross in the third minute that fell so perfectly for Jill Scott to tap in the game’s opener, while later in the half it was Bronze’s ball to Nikita Parris that found the winger with time and space from which she centred the ball to the waiting Ellen White for a simple tap-in. 

But the full-back saved the best for last and in the 57th minute her pile driver from outside the area added England’s third, and final, goal on the night. 

Bronze is widely acknowledged as one of the top right-backs in the women’s game, but speaking after the match Neville said she has raised the bar even higher this tournament. 

“I think what you’ve seen tonight, you’ve seen that Lucy Bronze is the best player in the world, without a shadow of a doubt,” he told BBC Sport. 

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it three times. There’s no player like her in the world, there’s no player that has her athleticism or her quality and I’m very lucky. I played full-back but never to that level that she plays at – she’s the best player in the world.

The quarter-final success means England will face the winners of France and the USWNT on Friday night, but the Lionesses boss has said he fancies his side’s chances against either team in the last four. 

“Well, you know what – we want to play them both,” Neville said. “We’re not bothered who we play. We’ll go to Lyon and the atmosphere and the occasion will be great. We’re having fun.” 

Lyon is, of course, where Bronze plays her club football. With the French side, the England star has won back-to-back Champions League titles and helped Lyon complete the treble in 2018/19. 

She arrived at Division 1 Feminine outfit in 2017, having previously spent three years at Manchester City. Bronze also has represented Liverpool, Everton and Sunderland. 

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