Lionesses hero Lucy Bronze doesn’t go by her real name

World Cup diary: Countdown on to England's first women's final

There is more to Lucy Bronze’s name than meets the eye, with the England ace commonly known by a different moniker to the one on her birth certificate. Bronze has been one of the Lionesses’ standout performers in recent years and will be expected to perform well against Spain in today’s historic Women’s World Cup final.

The 31-year-old has started all of England’s matches at the tournament and will be desperate to help her country secure a famous win in Sydney later today. She has always been known as Lucy but her name is actually Lucia, which stems from her Portuguese heritage.

Bronze grew up in a bilingual household with an English mother and a Portuguese father, although she has said that she is not very good at speaking the latter language because she did not use it enough as a child.

“Dad used to speak to us in Portuguese, but we always replied in English,” said Bronze in an interview with The Guardian. That’s probably why I’m not very comfortable speaking Portuguese.”

The England star is proud of her Portuguese roots and went on to admit that she once considered snubbing the Lionesses to represent her father’s homeland internationally. She was sounded out by Portugal as a teenager but eventually chose to stick with England after being thrown into the squad when she was 21.

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“I was asked to play for them on Facebook,” added Bronze. “A woman called Monica Jorge, who is now the head of women’s football in Portugal, got in touch. She must have watched an England youth game I was playing in and heard it mentioned that I was half-Portuguese.

“She got in touch with my mum and dad on Facebook and basically said: ‘Obviously, it’s a long shot as Lucy’s playing for England’s junior teams but if there’s ever a chance she might want to play for Portugal we’d more than welcome her into the squad and develop her’.

“I was about 16 at the time and I didn’t break into the England senior team until I was 21, before then it hadn’t looked on the horizon. In the end I only broke into the squad for the Euros in 2013 because there were a lot of unfortunate injuries and it felt like I’d just been chucked in.

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“It got close to the point where I was thinking: ‘I just want to play international football and I’m just as much Portuguese as I’m English’. It wouldn’t have felt like a disservice to England.”

Bronze also has an interesting middle name, which raised eyebrows on social media when it was mentioned on commentary during England’s recent win over Australia. Her full name is Lucia Roberta Tough Bronze, which serves as a fitting tribute to her no-nonsense style of play.

She has never looked back since pledging her international allegiance to England, who clinched their first major trophy last summer by winning the Euros. The Lionesses are now just one game away from lifting the Women’s World Cup, but Spain will have high hopes of claiming the honours for themselves in Sydney later today.

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