I had offers from Lyon but I chose Barcelona instead
England’s Lucy Bronze has said that she had offers from both Lyon and Barcelona but chose the latter over returning to her old club.
Bronze, 30, played with Lyon for three seasons from 2017 to 2020 and she won the Champions League three times with the club.
Despite calling it “the best time” in her career, she snubbed a return to her old club in favour of a new challenge with Barcelona.
“I knew I wanted to play abroad again,” Bronze said in an interview with the Times. “My experience at Lyon was the best time in my career, the best moments of my career. Going out and pushing myself into a different culture, a different experience, playing with the world’s best players — to have the chance to do that again was a no brainer.
“Maybe I can’t hype doing the same experience again with Barcelona but I would love to because that was the greatest experience of my life. I’ve not had that experience in England quite the same as what I had in Lyon, hopefully I can do it again.
“I had offers from Lyon and Barcelona, the two best teams in the world. It wasn’t bad to be able to pick from that and make my decision. It gives me loads of confidence as a player knowing that these big teams who are so successful want to sign me, want me to play, know that I can make a difference to their team.”
Bronze announced in May that she wouldn’t be renewing her contract with Manchester City and it had been widely reported that she favoured a move to the National Women’s Soccer League in the United States. She had previously played college football with the North Carolina Tar Heels in 2009.
However, Barca announced her shock signing on Saturday and Bronze said she immediately heard from her new teammate and Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas.
“After the signing on Saturday, Alexia [Putellas] texted me saying she’s so excited to play with me on the team,” she said.
Bronze has been named in Sarina Wiegman’s 23-player squad for the upcoming European Championship in England and said that being able to focus on the tournament and not her next move was important to her.
“There was one thing I said to Barcelona and my agent which was that I want it done before the tournament, get it done, get it out the way, I want to be able to focus on England,” she added.
“I don’t want questions about what club you’re going to next and all the talk and the gossip around that. I just wanted to be focused on playing well for England.”
England kick off their tournament against Austria on July 6 at Old Trafford.