- Lucy Bronze was voted into the FIFA FIFPRO Women’s World 11 by her peers for the sixth time
- The Barcelona defender pays tribute to team-mate Aitana Bonmati, who made her World 11 debut last month
- Bronze talks being a member of FIFPRO’s Global Player Council and the importance of the player voice
Lucy Bronze’s consistency at the top can be captured by the fact she has been voted into the FIFA FIFPRO Women’s World 11 by her fellow professionals six times in the last seven years.
It is a feat that few elite women’s footballers have achieved: USA’s Alex Morgan also has six appearances in the global team of the year, while French defender Wendie Renard is the only player who can boast more (7).
"Every year I always say it's the award that's so special because it's from the players – the people you come up against or even play with throughout the year," said Bronze, speaking to FIFPRO, on winning yet another World 11 spot. "To be in it six times is special. A player I really admire is Wendie Renard. She's done it the most out of anyone, so to be at that level that many times, that many years in a row, is incredible."
Bronze’s Barcelona team-mate Aitana Bonmati made her debut in the Women’s World 11 after an unforgettable season that saw her win the 2023 Women’s World Cup with Spain, as well as Spain’s Liga F and the Women’s Champions League.
"Aitana brings everything. She's got energy, she's competitive," said Bronze. "When you talk about Spanish players, everyone is going to talk about technical ability, which obviously Aitana has in abundance. But I think what makes her special is that competitive mindset, that she just wants to win all the time.
"She's that player that you love when she's on your team and you hate when she's against you."
Global Player Council: The Voice of the Players
A prominent presence on the field, Bronze is also using her influence off the pitch to help fellow footballers across the globe as a member of FIFPRO’s Global Player Council (GPC).
The council is a platform for active players with international experience that assists FIFPRO and its affiliated national player associations to represent footballers in negotiations about global issues that directly affect them including the international match calendar, employment standards, the use of personal data and social media abuse.
Players on the council alongside Bronze include the likes of Crystal Dunn, Nicolas Tagliafico and Maya Yoshida.
"The voice of the players is the motivation for me," said Bronze. "We have the most experience and sometimes we have the solution, sometimes we don’t. But I think we're the ones that are really speaking from the heart, we're passionate about it, and the reason I speak is because I want it to be better, not just for myself, but for my friends and my team-mates."
While national player unions are the key driver of the collective voice of footballers domestically, the council strengthens the capacity to address cross-border issues that affect the livelihoods of players. The players are able to draw on knowledge from their own lived experiences as footballers.
"We go through this experience, so we understand how changes could be done easily or what has to be done to make it better for everybody," said Bronze.
"I've always been someone who's felt empowered by other players speaking out and felt empowered to do that myself because if the players themselves, in this case the people who are doing the jobs, are listened to the most in any walk of life, I think they're the ones who have enough information to make the biggest change."
Where does Bronze think players can go next to really push for that change? "It's speaking out, but I also think it's the collectiveness, the togetherness of doing it. We've always seen that in women's football especially, our voices get heard when we go in numbers, when we go together and when we stick together.
"It is easy for one or two players to speak out, but when you hear a huge voice, it's like the difference between a small wave and a tsunami. That magnitude is the thing that's going to help make the difference, the number of people who stick together."