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France defender Wendie Renard on her side's group stage challenge and taking Les Bleues to the next level – interview

"I hope it will be our turn this year, but once again it will all depend on us," the Lyon and France defender tells UEFA.com ahead of UEFA Women's EURO 2022.

Wendie Renard: "I'm proud to wear a Les Bleues jersey once again at a major tournament"
Wendie Renard: "I'm proud to wear a Les Bleues jersey once again at a major tournament" UEFA via Getty Images

Fresh from another UEFA Women's Champions League-winning campaign with Lyon (her record eighth in total) Wendie Renard is hoping to bring a little of that starball stardust to France's UEFA Women's EURO tilt.

Les Bleues are one of the top sides in women's football but have yet to show their absolute best form at a Women's EURO, much to the 31-year-old central defender's frustration. Renard is likely to come face to face with a number of her Lyon team-mates at the finals in England and is hoping that she and her France side will be the ones coming out on top.

On group stage opponents Italy, Belgium and Iceland

Great France Women's EURO goals

They're three great sides and nations with different attributes, especially Italy with their well-oiled 4-4-2 formation. The players work together on the defensive end. Regarding Belgium, they have interesting players, including Janice Cayman, who's playing [with me at Lyon]. The Iceland game will be a physical battle, with another OL player in their ranks, namely Sara Björk [Gunnarsdóttir]. They're three good sides; it will be up to us to make a difference on the pitch.

We've already experienced in the past everyone saying that we have an easy group. I say that we should be careful. We obviously have enough quality to go through, but it goes without saying that our opponents are set on the same objective. They'll have their hearts set on defeating us, so it will be up to us to put in our best effort on the pitch and do everything we can to win the first game, and then the second and the third.

On the prospect of her third Women's EURO 2020 with France

Watch thumping Renard header for France

I'm both honoured and excited, because first of all I'm proud to wear a Les Bleues jersey once again at a major tournament. I know where I am from, I am always proud of wearing it and even more to represent my country in a big competition like the EURO.

I've always said the EURO is more difficult than the World Cup as the level is tighter. It includes the best European sides and the best players in the world too. We haven't been further than the quarter-final stage because I think that we, the players, didn't deliver as we should have or were unlucky. However, we should keep persevering now. Some players and nations went through tough periods for many years before claiming a trophy and moving up a notch. I hope it will be our turn this year, but once again it will all depend on us.

On the legacy of this EURO

Renard 'proud' of Lyon triumph

We have seen the evolution of women's football in the last few months. The stadiums are full and more and more fans are coming to see the matches. I think there is excitement around this [competition], and I hope it will continue to leave a good legacy. But whatever happens, it won't be the end of [women's] football.

On the contrary, I think it will be the beginning of a new era for football in general because as we saw with the most recent Champions League, we beat records with stadium attendance in almost every stadium, so it's nice. As I said, it's a new era, so I hope it will continue as long as possible.

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