Former Manchester City star eyes Champions League trophy at new club

Ex-Manchester City defender Lucy Bronze is aiming to win the Champions League with new club Barcelona.

The Lioness was one of several key players to depart City this summer after the Sky Blues struggled through a season plagued by injury to finish a disappointing third in the Women’s Super League earlier this year.

Following the expiration of her contract at the Academy Stadium, Bronze opted to make the switch to Barcelona Femení, where she has subsequently been joined by England and former City team-mate Keira Walsh, who arrived in Catalonia for a world-record fee of around £400,000.

The pair were two of the eleven players who lined up to face Spain in the quarter-finals of the European Championships this summer, when Sarina Wiegman’s side came from behind to advance to the next round with a 2-1 victory earned in extra time.

A challenging contest against quality opponents, the Spain win was a landmark moment in the tournament which spoke of the grit which went on to earn the Lionesses the trophy - and Bronze cited the Spanish national team’s strength in justifying her decision to transfer to La Liga F.

“The club itself is huge and the team is amazing, full of world class players,” Bronze told the BBC.

“The Spanish team is unbelievable and that football starts with Barça.

“So I want to play with these players, I want to get better and I want to win trophies again.

“I feel like I’m improving every day, learning more about myself as a player and as a person - all those cliches, but it is true. I feel like I’m 20 years old again and finding my feet.”

Euro 2022 fever has been evident in the opening fortnight of the Women’s Super League as a number of club record attendances have been achieved - as well as the largest ever crowd recorded for a game in the division, as more than 47,000 fans showed up to watch Arsenal face Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Spanish football has long-surpassed this benchmark - in April, a staggering 91,648 supporters set a new world record for a women’s football match by showing up to watch Barça claim a 5-1 Champions League semi-final win over Wolfsburg.

“It was definitely a big factor - the fanbase is crazy,” Bronze said.

“From the second that I signed, even through the Euros, all the England games -  they were supporting me as a player.”

Bronze, who won the Champions League three times with former club Olympique Lyon, is excited by the crowds and new teammates - but there’s one crucial aim for the 2022/2023 campaign which has especially motivated her move.

“Just winning trophies,” Bronze said.

“I think it’s obviously a team that dominates a lot in Spain anyway, but I think the Champions League is the big one.

“To win all of the trophies this year would be amazing.”

Last term, Barcelona won the Primera División, the Copa de la Reina, and the Supercopa de España, while coming runners-up to Bronze’s former side Lyon in the Champions League.

Meanwhile, City have lost both of their opening WSL fixtures, coming out on the wrong side of a 4-3 result against Aston Villa before suffering a 2-0 defeat at the hands of title contenders Chelsea.