Women's World Cup 2019: Lucy Bronze is the best in the world, says Phil Neville

Bronze should win the Ballon d'Or, declares the England head coach.

Match-winner: Lucy Bronze celebrates after scoring England's third goal on Thursday. Photo: Getty Images

Phil Neville described Lucy Bronze as "the best player in the world" after England eased into the Women's World Cup semifinals on Thursday.

Lyon right-back Bronze was in sensational form against Norway, creating the opener for Jill Scott, playing a part in Ellen White's second and then rattling in the third herself. Neville referred to the 3-0 win as further evidence of Bronze's "phenomenal" abilities and tipped her to win the Ballon d'Or.

"[Bronze] is the best player in the world," Neville told his post-match news conference. "She should win the Ballon d'Or, 100 per cent. I've no doubt about that.

REPORT | NOR 0-3 ENG

"She's the best player in the world because what you saw tonight was a player that was playing at the top of her game - and that's her level of performance. The bigger the game, the bigger the performance.

'Phenomenal'

"Her quality for the first goal, the strike for the third goal... she's phenomenal. She's someone that, for me, doesn't get the recognition worldwide she deserves. She plays for Lyon, one of the best teams in the world, and, for me, if you were saying about a Ballon d'Or winner for this year, Lucy Bronze has got to win it.

"Just because she plays at right-back? She's the best. There's nobody like her. Nobody has got the physical attributes, nobody has got the determination, nobody has got the quality. Nobody has got the ability to play week in, week out, every single minute of every single game, and produce unbelievable performances. I'm lucky."

Phil Neville: "I've got the best job in the world." Photo: Getty Images

 

Neville was just as delighted with the rest of his players, adding: "I've got the best job in the world. Coaches can be the best in the world, but if you haven't got the best players, players with determination, attitude and the ability to learn and improve then you're dead as a coach.

'One of the proudest moments'

"I suppose that's why, for the past 18 months, I've been so confident, bullish at times, brave in terms of the words that I'm using, because I work day in day out with players that are absolutely astonishing. They astonish me every day, they inspire me every day, and tonight, I've got to say, is probably one of the proudest moments I've had in football."

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Norway coach Martin Sjogren had no complaints about the result. "We lost against a team that was better than us," Sjogren said. "We had the belief we could hurt England, but at this stage of the tournament, all the teams are very, very good.

"We played good football still, I believe, during this tournament. I am quite satisfied and I'm proud of how the players have represented Norway."