Even in the face of defeat in the World Cup final against Spain, England’s captain Millie Bright demonstrated her grace and dignity during an immediate post-match interview.
Sarina Wiegman’s team was striving to build on their European Championship victory from the previous year, aiming to secure the title of world champions and bring glory to their nation in front of a colossal audience of 75,000 fans at Stadium Australia in Sydney.
However, despite their efforts, they were edged out by a highly skilled Spanish team, who secured a 1-0 victory through a first-half goal from their captain, Olga Carmona.
Inspired by Mary Earps’ impressive penalty save and her subsequent reaction, the Lionesses exhibited renewed determination. However, despite their unwavering efforts, they were unable to equalize despite putting forth their utmost endeavor.
Numerous members of the squad displayed visible signs of distress, having come agonizingly close to victory. Millie Bright, who assumed leadership responsibilities for England in the absence of regular captain Leah Williamson due to an ACL injury, was profoundly disheartened.
Nevertheless, the Chelsea defender conducted herself admirably during a conversation with the BBC immediately after the final whistle was blown.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 20, 2023
“This is really hard to take. We gave it everything. Hand on heart we can say we gave it everything,” Bright said.
“In the first half we weren’t at our best. Second half we bounced back, showed our fight, showed our character.
“We had chances, we hit the bar, but we just didn’t have the final edge today and they got theirs in back of the net.
“We’re absolutely heartbroken. We gave everything. Unfortunately we just weren’t there today.”
It remains an outstanding achievement from the crop of players, who will continue to inspire the next generation of girls to play football.
It could be the final World Cup for veteran right-back Lucy Bronze, who was almost inconsolable.
The Barcelona defender was involved in an awkward moment with FIFA president Gianni Infantino as she collected her runners up medal.
Bronze did not make eye contact with Infantino and limp-looking handshake, with the exchanging coming after his bizarre, tone-deaf remarks about women’s football.
BBC presenter Gabby Logan slammed the comments as “ridiculous and reductive”.