Two a long time have handed since Jorge Bronze performed ball along with his sister Lucy in his dad and mom’ yard in rural Northumberland.
“We were both competitive from a young age,” he says. “We played everywhere: backyard, street, local fields, school. We played wherever there was a ball and a surface.’
But it wasn’t long before Lucy, then 12, started showing off her big brother.
“Lucy always had the advantage,” Jorge admits. “She played on the boys’ team, because that was all that was available at the time, and there were often comments (about her gender) from other teams.
But those comments soon stopped after she started scoring hat-tricks against them. She won player of the season several times. Especially her passion started to become visible at a young age.’
Alessia Russo is the 24-year-old striker who scored England’s winning goal in the quarter-final against Colombia on Saturday. In the photo, she celebrates Saturday with Ella Toone
Alessia Russo’s big brothers Luca and Giorgio traveled to Australia to cheerlead for her. She is pictured with Giorgio on Saturday
That drive led Lucy to a starring role in the Lionesses, where the 31-year-old defender helped lead them to the semi-finals of the Women’s World Cup, where England take on Australia on Wednesday in Sydney.
An entire country stands behind this 23-strong team of brilliant women, admired not only for their talent and passion for the beautiful game, but for inspiring a generation of younger girls to realize they can play football too.
And cheering from the stands Down Under, you’ll find a group of men who totally agree: the proudest supporters of the Lionesses, their brothers.
Fifteen members of the team have male siblings, some of them several – like Chloe Kelly, who grew up in a home with not just one but five soccer-crazy boys – making them something of a secret weapon in the women’s success.
They’ve gone from their sisters’ backyard rivals to their biggest fans – and they couldn’t be more relieved that their siblings have better ball skills than they do (even if it means getting the mickey out of them by their buddies) .
In fact, many of the players appreciate that their brothers brought them into football.
Jorge, 33, a risk manager who lives in Sheffield with his wife and two children, tells the Mail exclusively that he and Lucy nudged each other as children.
“Lucy and I were born 22 months apart, so we grew up very close together. We were both athletically gifted, played every sport possible and always made a game of it.’
But football did not run in the family. “My mother had never watched a minute of football and my father is one of the least coordinated people you can meet,” says Jorge.
Two a long time have handed since Jorge Bronze performed ball along with his sister Lucy in his dad and mom’ yard in rural Northumberland. The couple is pictured collectively
Fifteen members of the staff have male siblings, a few of them a number of – like Chloe Kelly, who grew up in a house with not only one however 5 soccer-crazy boys – making them one thing of a secret weapon within the girls’s success. Chloe (left) is pictured together with her household in 2017
Midfielder Georgia Stanway, 24, thanks her brothers for getting her into soccer as a baby. She is pictured together with her half-brother Sol (left)
“However, he was a very good runner and she was a talented badminton player. Fortunately, we have his condition and her coordination.’
Once, while on a family vacation in North Carolina, the couple attended a football camp together. Jorge recalls, “She was the youngest – only 12 at the time – and the staff selected her to undergo special training with the elites. It was clear she was going to be a great athlete.’
Playing alongside Lucy is Alessia (Lessi) Russo, the 24-year-old Arsenal striker who scored England’s winning goal in the quarter-final against Colombia on Saturday. And who were there to cheer her on from the sidelines? Her big brothers Luca and Giorgio, who also traveled to Australia to cheerlead.
The boys grew up in Maidstone, Kent, and nicknamed their little sister ‘Lionel Lessi’, after the Argentine football legend. Luca, 30, who now works as Alessia’s agent, remembers “showing her who’s boss with a football” when she was youthful, however admits: “Oh, how times have changed!”
“I remember when Giorgio and I let (her) go into goal in the backyard and tease (her) with shots. Now it’s the other way around.’ She is the star of his Instagram account, where Luca shares photos of his sister, whom he calls “a boss,” nearly day by day. “I will shout and sing proudly from the stands,” he wrote forward of one among her latest matches.
And older brother Giorgio, 34, describes watching his sister play as “sensational,” including: “The way they’ve brought the whole nation together has been incredible.”
Giorgio, himself a former semi-pro soccer participant, thinks his sister picked up a factor or two from him after they had been youthful. After her aim in opposition to China within the group stage, he joked, “I must have taught her that, didn’t I?” There’s lots extra of this type of banter in Australia, the place the Lionesses’ devoted siblings have fashioned a type of brotherly band on the sidelines.
The Russo boys loved an evening out in Byron Bay with Georgia Stanway’s half-brothers, Sol and John Paul (JP).
For her half, 24-year-old midfielder Georgia thanks her brothers for getting her into soccer as a baby.
“I had to get involved or the ball would get kicked to me, but it was something I fell in love with right away,” Georgia Stanway stated in a latest interview. Georgia is pictured on Saturday in the course of the quarterfinals between England and Colombia
Lucy Bronze’s brother Jorge stated she “always had an edge” and described how she “played on the boys team because that was all that was available at the time, and there were often comments (about her gender) from other teams” . Lucy is pictured on Saturday in the course of the quarterfinals between England and Colombia
“I had to get involved or I’d get the ball kicked at me, but it was something I fell in love with right away,” she stated in a latest interview. And tough and tumble was widespread within the Kelly family in Ealing, west London, the place Chloe, 25, the intrepid striker whose 69mph penalty in opposition to Nigeria secured England’s place within the quarter-finals, grew up with 5 brothers.
Chloe, the youngest of seven kids, remembers taking part in with Jack, Daniel and triplets Ryan, Jamie and Martin on a caged gravel subject on the Windmill Park Estate. “I was always around the cage with the boys as soon as I was allowed, about seven years old,” she stated this week. “My brothers took me in even though they were older and playing with their friends.”
Meanwhile, sibling rivalry is one thing teammate Lauren James – who didn’t play on Saturday after being despatched off and given a two-game suspension for stomping on Nigerian Michelle Alozie’s again final week – is aware of all too nicely . Her older brother, Reece, 23, additionally performs for England, making them the primary brother-sister duo in British historical past to be chosen for his or her nation.
If the Lionesses beat the hosts on Wednesday, they may meet Sweden or Spain within the last on Sunday.