Karen Bardsley: ‘Panini should do NHS stickers – they’re our role models’

The England and Manchester City goalkeeper on career highs and lows, including Covid-19 delaying her comeback from injury

Karen Bardsley has had a lot of time to reflect on her career. The goalkeeper left England’s World Cup quarter-final victory over Norway in 2019 with a hamstring injury, knowing she would not make the semi-final, and has not played since. With cruel irony, her clearance to return to training at Manchester City came as the Lionesses returned from the SheBelieves Cup and went straight into isolation in March.

“I was like: ‘Wow, OK, I just got cleared to train with the whole squad and now I’m gonna have to wait for ever to do it,’ or at least that’s what it felt like,” Bardsley says with a laugh. “I’m just taking this as an opportunity to get as strong and as physically resilient as possible.”

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