Captain Millie Bright is assured England will emerge a stronger facet after processing the gut-wrenching actuality of ending as World Cup runners-up.
The Lionesses overcame obstacles and disproved doubters over the expanded month-long competitors, which for the primary time noticed 32 groups whittled down to 2, Spain and England, who have been each making their debuts within the showpiece ultimate.
Olga Carmona’s first-half strike in Sydney proved sufficient to ship La Roja dwelling with the trophy, whereas England have been reminded that soccer generally is a recreation of merciless inches after Lauren Hemp’s near-opener pinged off the crossbar.
Bright mentioned: “The mentality has always been there. The character has been there, too. We show that, day in, day out, and in every game. We’ve just played in a World Cup final, it’s hard to see it like that at the moment. I’m proud of the girls.
“We’ve played on the highest stage. We’ve had a shot at competing for the trophy we have always wanted but this isn’t the end of the journey and we will definitely bounce back. For now, though, we’ll let it settle.”
While every of Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses will rue and course of the loss in another way, their skipper is the only real member of the squad for whom the morning after additionally occurs to be a birthday.
Bright, who turns 30 right now, inherited the captain’s armband earlier than the World Cup from Euro 2022-winning skipper Leah Williamson, who was pressured to overlook the match after sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) damage in April.
Beth Mead, final summer time’s Golden Boot winner, was additionally unavailable for choice after she was unable to get better in time from the identical drawback, whereas Chelsea midfielder Fran Kirby missed out with a separate knee subject.
Perhaps some contained in the England camp are actually questioning what might need been had these European champions been out there, or maybe not, however the one regrets Bright was prepared to share after coming so near bringing the World Cup dwelling to England have been the minor moments that made the distinction.
“There are probably one million different feelings,” mentioned Bright. “Pride, disappointment, heartbroken that we didn’t win.
“We came off the pitch holding our heads high, knowing that we have given absolutely everything in the game. In the second half especially we left it all out there.
“We didn’t take our chances today and those are the small margins that decide football in a final against a top, top team.
“You get those chances and hit the crossbar, the keeper makes saves. They get theirs and put it in the net.”
Bright, whose membership boss Emma Hayes was an ITV pundit for the World Cup, will quickly return to Chelsea the place she seems a shoo-in to interchange departed captain Magda Eriksson.
But earlier than the Blues kick-off their marketing campaign in quest of a fifth straight Women’s Super League (WSL) title towards Tottenham on October 1, Bright and the Lionesses will face Scotland then the Netherlands within the new UEFA Women’s Nations League in late September.
That competitors will determine which two European groups will be part of co-hosts France on the Paris Olympics, which start in simply 340 days.
Perhaps subsequent yr’s birthday will come accompanied with a contemporary gold medal from these Games, however for now Bright is feeling grateful for the help that helped safe her World Cup silver.
She added: “It’s been incredible. It’s surreal. Thank you for believing in us. I hope you have enjoyed the ride. It’s been amazing. It’s hard to see it like that. It’s been incredible. We’ve had an opportunity and we’ve gained a medal that not many other players have got.”