Sheffield's Millie Bright set for date with destiny as Chelsea face Barcelona in Champions League final
Killamarsh’s England Women star Millie Bright could become a champion of Europe this weekend when her Chelsea side take on Barcelona in the final of the Champions League at Gamla Ullevi in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Bright, who was scouted as a youngster by Sheffield United and later played for Doncaster Rovers Belles, has become a key member of both Chelsea and England’s squads in recent years and will be tasked tomorrow evening, along with centre-half partner and captain Magda Eriksson, with stopping a free-scoring Barcelona side that has netted a remarkable 128 goals in 26 Spanish top-flight games this term.
Chelsea have long targeted European success, having been knocked out in the Champions League semi-finals twice in recent seasons, and travel to Sweden having already won the 2020/21 WSL title under highly-rated boss Emma Hayes.
"It's everything that we've worked for,” Bright said.
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“Like Emma always says, no matter the trophy we're competing in, it's there to be won and that's our task.
“It would mean absolutely everything and it would be the biggest trophy in your career that you can win.
“We're fully focused on that. We want to show that we are here to compete, and win it.
“Every club is striving for that; the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United want to be in the Champions League and as an English team, we want the English teams to do well.
"It's bigger than just Chelsea. We're representing English teams and we're setting the tone, that we're here to compete and we're here to win.”
Chelsea were beaten semi-finalists in 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons and went one step further this time after overcoming a first-leg 2-1 deficit against Bayern Munich to win 4-1 on home soil and progress to the final 5-3 on aggregate.
Sam Kerr won the 2020/21 WSL golden boot with 21 goals in 22 games for Chelsea, while England star Fran Kirby has been in excellent form.
Chelsea kept 15 clean sheets in their 22 WSL games, conceding just 15 goals all season, and Bright says that the club’s strength in depth has been key to their success.
“When you're playing every two or three days, your squad has to come into effect and that's certainly what we've managed to do this year,” Bright added.
“I think that has been the difference. Everybody has been at the top of their game and we've been able to rotate and get the job done.
"The players we've been able to bring in with Champions League experience has made a big difference but for me, it's the resilience. It's the games that have been tough and we've managed to grind out a result.
“I think it's everybody's dream to win the Champions League and to have finally made it to the final, it's a really proud achievement for everyone at Chelsea.
"It's a really proud moment to be a part of this team. I’ve been here for six years now, and seen the growth and development of staff and players. And it’s definitely a journey I'm looking forward to continuing."