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2019 Women's World Cup

Lucy Bronze is the world’s best right back — but you might find her in midfield

Photo Copyright Daniela Porcelli | Joerdeli Photography

Lucy Bronze is, without a doubt, the top right back in women’s soccer, but she wasn’t always a fullback at heart. As the recent SheBelieves Cup showed, Bronze is willing, and ready to help England wherever she can.

Right back is not known for being the most glamorous and desirable position on the pitch. You have to be prepared to anticipate when to jump up and join an offensive opportunity, and you have to be set to sprint back when the opposition is in transition.

The 27-year-old Bronze makes playing the position look easy. She’s a threat on corner kicks and free kicks, and she can lead an attack flawlessly. During the recent SheBelieves Cup, which England won, Lionesses coach Phil Neville experimented with playing Bronze as a defensive midfielder, an area of the field she was familiar with until a young, up-and-coming Sunderland academy prospect pushed her out over a decade ago.

“Funnily enough I actually started off playing in center midfield when I played for Sunderland with Jordan Nobbs, Lucy Staniforth and Demi Stokes,” Bronze said. “I used to play in midfield with those players. Then it was because Jordan came into the team, that I had to move out of that position to play somewhere else because Jordan was an out-and-out midfielder. I just got pushed to right-back and that was it. I just stayed there forever.”

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