If they didn’t know her name beforehand, they certainly did afterwards. Lucy Bronze, playing her first matches at a major tournament, scored twice as England progressed to the semi-finals of World Cup 2015 and claimed the bronze medal.
“The last World Cup it was like: ‘Who’s that? Who’s playing? We don’t know who she is?’” says Bronze. “People actually know my name now.”
Labelled as the world’s best player by England head coach Phil Neville earlier this year, her name is ringing louder and louder.
Since the summer of 2015, the 27-year-old has won it all at club level. Part of the Manchester City side to secure the domestic treble in 2016-17, she then made the move to Lyon in August 2017 - a move she admits was never really on her radar when she was growing up.
“When I was younger the dream was to get a job and that football was just going to be at the weekends with my mates,” she recalls of her childhood. “Then it changed into a full professional career.
She has won back-to-back league and Champions League titles as well as the Coupe de France Féminine with Lyon. Now she’s dreaming of lifting another trophy in her home ground in France.
“The semi-final and the final are both at the Lyon stadium. I drive past it every day and every single day, I’m like: ‘We’re going to lift [the World Cup] trophy in that stadium,’” reveals Bronze.
“That is literally what I think about on my way to training every day. It is the ultimate goal for me, for the team, for everyone who’s involved with the English team.”
The Lionesses head into the tournament confident and in good form, having won the SheBelieves Cup for the first time in March.
“We’re in a very good place,” says Bronze. “We won the SheBelieves Cup which is amazing but it’s not something that we want to show off too much. We’ve still got work to do, stuff that we can fine tune and improve on.
“We’re definitely in a different position now [compared to 2015]. I’m in a much better place than I was then and I’ve learnt so much since. I’m so excited for this time.”
Lucy Bronze was speaking at Nike's Women's World Cup event in Paris.