Karen Bardsley could not find the words to describe how proud she was of her England team-mates after they finished third at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The Lionesses goalkeeper kept a clean sheet and was voted player of the match as Mark Sampson’s side defeated Germany 1-0 to win a bronze medal at Canada 2015.
Germany 0-1 England
FIFA Women's World Cup 2015
Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton
Saturday 4 July
They became the second-most successful England team of all-time, behind the World Cup winners of 1966.
Bardsley said: “I’m so immensely proud to be a part of such an incredible team with an amazing group of staff members.
“It has been a fantastic journey. Every single thing has been an amazing experience and I couldn’t be prouder of my team and my nation.
“It’s really difficult because there are no words to describe how I feel. I’m just absolutely honoured to have experienced this World Cup. It’s a special moment for us.”
Bardsley, 30, may have kept a clean sheet, but she was grateful for her captain’s goal-line clearance early in the first half.
Steph Houghton leapt in the air and hooked the ball clear to prevent Jo Potter’s misdirected header from putting Germany ahead.
Bardsley added: “That epitomises what this team is about.
“There wasn’t a player on the pitch or on the touchline that wouldn’t have given their right leg to make sure that we won a bronze medal.
“That’s something that Mark has really honed in on; the willingness to do whatever it takes and to sacrifice everything for the team.
“That picture of Steph will be forever etched in my mind. It really does epitomise everything we have built on in the last 18 months.
“I might get that photo enlarged for her.”