Man City defender Bronze: English players should go abroad more

Manchester City defender Lucy Bronze has said more English players should go abroad for the experience after she became the first English player to win FIFA's the Best award on Thursday.

Bronze spent three years at Lyon before returning to City in September. While in France she won three Champions League medals, three Division 1 Feminine titles, two Coupe de France titles and the Trophee des Championnes.

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"Lyon made me a better player, a better person," Bronze said at a news conference on Friday. "I don't think I would be where I am today if I hadn't got up and went there but I think in this country in general we are quite shy to go abroad.

"You have a feeling that when you leave the country, everyone kind of forgets about you -- the fan base, the media, the coaches. Things aren't as accessible for people to come see you at training or come meet you or watch the games I have. Even in men's football I think it's not as similar but still quite similar."

A number of young English players have chosen to ply their trade abroad in recent seasons including Jude Bellingham and Jadon Sancho at Borussia Dortmund on the men's side.

Lyon has been a popular destination for some of England's top women with Bronze's City teammate Alex Greenwood also spending a year there while Nikita Parris remains at the French side.

"Again, football in England is huge and women's football is probably the best. We have two of the best leagues in terms of the premier league and the WSL [Women's Super League]," she said.

"So I can see why people would sit there and think: 'why would I want to leave? I have so many great things here playing in my home country compared to somewhere I'm going to be forgotten about.'

"I think that plays on player's minds a bit when you're making these kinds of decisions."

The 29-year-old added she was "proud" to represent defenders on the list after having missed out on the award in 2019 to USWNT's Megan Rapinoe.

"My name will be there for the rest of history now," she said. "I am definitely very proud to be up there to be along the best of the best."