Champions League ‘heartbreak’ may take Chelsea to greater heights – Beth England
Beth England stressed that Chelsea believe they can reach another Women’s Champions League final after the ‘heartbreak’ of Sunday’s loss to Barcelona.
The contest in Gothenburg saw the finalists for the first time, Chelsea beaten 4-0, all goals scored in the first 45 minutes, by a Barca side whose debut in the final two years earlier ended in defeat 4-1 against Lyon.
England say there is a strong belief with the squad that there may be a next time for Chelsea and that they will be better for the experience.
The Blues and England forward told the PA news agency: “The immediate feeling was just heartbreak. We really thought this was the year we were going to win. To fail like we did was really difficult.
“But, even with this heartbreak, once we got into the locker room, we were like, ‘We’ll go back, we can (still) get here.’
“Barcelona were in our shoes two years ago and they used their grief against us.
“It was a big learning curve for us and I’m sure we can take this heartache with us in the future and be a lot more… I would say prepared, but I felt we were prepared, but just right. in a position to know what it’s like to be on that stage, and to perform better than we did in the first half.
“As a group, we really feel like we can be in that position again and take the learning curve, which Barcelona has thrown at us, and bring it to next time.”
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich spoke to the players after the game, and England said: “It was good for the girls to know that we have his support and support and he was greatly appreciated. that he came to talk to us.
“He just said ‘next time’. We think it wasn’t the first and only chance we had to be there and he believes the same.
Emma Hayes’ side, who have retained the Women’s Super League and the League Cup this season, will conclude their campaign on Thursday by hosting Everton in the fifth round of the FA Cup, the next stages of which will be played out next season.
England, PFA Women’s Player of the Year for 2019-2020, have been used frequently as a substitute this season.
The 26-year-old, who left the bench on Sunday, said: “To say for personal reasons that the year has not been so good and that we always come away with these trophies is not a bad season.
When asked if she’s still happy as a Chelsea player, England said: “I think anyone who knows me knows I love the club. It’s an environment that is greatly appreciated and I think it would be difficult to reproduce it.
Hege Riise’s British side for the Tokyo Olympics will be named this month, and England, scoring two goals in 10 appearances in England, said: “Whichever team is selected, I hope. just that it’s the best team to do the job and a medal. come home.
“As England we haven’t produced the desired results recently, but I don’t think that defines what we can bring to the Olympics and I think that with everyone’s help we will be able to produce a very good display. “
As the construction of Tokyo continues, England has launched a fitness campaign with Burns Pet Nutrition for dogs and their owners, with a range of Olympic-themed activities.
England, owner of the dogs Buddy and Dilys, said of the Canine Games: “It’s a way to encourage people to go out with their dogs, to make sure their dogs get exercise. , and it’s more fun to do it. .
“I have a strong bond with Buddy. In the first lockout I had a rough time, got an injury and was stuck in London, it was just him and me, and he was my best friend and helped me to cross it.
“Even just walking with him, it makes you go out and make you feel happier, and with the confinement we were doing all kinds of activities.”
:: Beth England has teamed up with Burns Pet Nutrition to launch The Canine Games after a study conducted by Burns found six million dogs in the UK are overweight. For more information or to get involved, visit www.burnspet.co.uk/caninegames