Lucy Bronze and Keira Walsh: England women’s duo ready for World Cup after taking Barcelona by storm

Ahead of the 2023 Women's World Cup, two members of England's squad, Lucy Bronze and Keira Walsh, have had the seasons of their lives domestically. Both Bronze and Walsh made the decision to leave the Women's Super League in England for Liga F in Spain last summer and to say their decision has been vindicated would be an understatement.

Barcelona Women were in dominant form last season and won Liga F by ten points. In truth, Real Madrid can feel unlucky that they were that far behind Barcelona considering they didn't have a particularly bad season themselves, winning 24 of 30 games in the league.

Barcelona, however, produced the most stunning season in Liga F history. After 27 league games they were on the maximum number of points possible and they would have likely gone to the win 30/30 had they not turned their attentions to the Women's Champions League after wrapping the league title up early.

In total Barcelona Women scored 110 league goals last season, which works out an average of nearly four goals a game and conceded just ten. They backed up their dominance in Spain with Champions League glory, too, making them the second Barcelona side to lift the Women's Champions League in three seasons.

Lucy Bronze – a generational full-back

At the age of 31, Lucy Bronze has been around for some time now but her elite form is showing no signs of slowing down. She has long been regarded as the best full-back in the women's game and came narrowly close to winning the Ballon d'Or in 2019, finishing second to USA star Megan Rapinoe in the voting.

Bronze is a full-back who can do everything that a modern full-back needs to do. She is a ferocious one-on-one defender while she is also adept at bombing forward and putting crosses into the box for forwards to attack. Bronze is also very confident and comfortable on the ball meaning she is perfectly capable of moving into central midfield with the ball.

Bronze's style of play is perfectly matched to how Barcelona likes to play and she has a good understanding with Alexia Putellas – the best player in the world who plays on the left side of the Barcelona midfield.

lucy bronze
London, England, 22nd April 2023. Lucy Bronze of Barcelona during the UEFA Womens Champions League match at Stamford Bridge, London. Picture credit should read: Paul Terry / Sportimage – Photo by Icon sport

Keira Walsh – midfield maestro

If there was ever a player who was born to play for Barcelona then Keira Walsh may well be that player. The holding midfielder fits the Barcelona ethos to a tee and there isn't a player in the England squad who is more technically sound than the ex-Manchester City star.

Last season, Walsh was at the centre of everything that Barcelona did. She controlled the tempo of every single game she played which allowed Barcelona to press high up the pitch and suffocate their opponents around their own penalty box.

Walsh played 35 times for Barcelona last season in the league and Champions League and if she can bring her dominant style of midfield play to the Lionesses then England will be a force to be reckoned with in Australia and New Zealand.

England start their Group D campaign against Haiti in ten days' time and supporters will be looking forward to seeing both Bronze and Walsh in action after their historic campaign with Barcelona.

Andy is a freelance Sports Journalist with ten years of experience covering football in the United Kingdom and abroad for various publications including the Manchester Evening News, UtdReport and Football Whispers. Andy also has a keen interest in basketball, cricket, golf and tennis and has covered major sporting events such as the Masters in Augusta.