Fran Kirby makes bold Lucy Bronze claim as England celebrate beating Norway in World Cup

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And the Chelsea forward is convinced that Bronze’s inspirational form can help England put their semi-final heartbreaks behind them and bring back a World Cup winners medal.

England manager Phil Neville called Olympique Lyonnais star Bronze the ‘best player in the world’ after the former Sunderland, Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City star drove his team on to demolish Norway 3-0 in Le Havre and book their place in the World Cup semi-finals – and Kirby herself has no doubts.

Bronze‘s powerful runs from right back once again unhinged England’s opponents at this World Cup, as she set up the first goal for Jill Scott, combined with Nikita Parris to create the second for Ellen White – and then scored the third herself with a glorious strike from the edge of the area that will go down as one of the goals of WC 2019.

Chelsea forward Kirby said: “Lucy is absolutely fantastic, one of the best players in the world. It’s fantastic to have her on our team.

“When she gets the ball and she’s driving with it, there’s not many that can stop her.

“If she continues to play as she has done throughout the tournament, it’s exciting for us. Lucy has been consistent throughout her career and to have someone like that in your team, who can grab the game by the scruff of the neck and do one of those powerful drives forward, it is exciting.

“It’s the way we want to play. When she is scoring goals like that, you just have to bow down to her. She’s absolutely one of the best players in the world.”

England will now face the winners of tonight’s Paris clash between holders the USA and hosts France in their semi-final in Lyon on Tuesday night.

And Kirby is determined that England can put their last four hoodoo behind them and make it to the final. The Lionesses lost in the semi-finals in Canada in 2015 and fell at the same stage in the European Championships in 2017.

Kirby said: “It’s really exciting for us. We want to go one better. We’ve been to two semi-finals and we don’t want to feel that hurt again.

“We have to do everything to recover. We need to go one better. We can’t focus on being in three semi-finals. We need to get to that final and come away with a World Cup winners’ medal. This team is onto something special. It’s really exciting to be a part of. We have to build momentum and we’re doing that game-by-game.”

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