By 90Min
May 23, 2019

Having recently played for Barcelona in the club's first ever Women's Champions League final, England forward Toni Duggan isn't finished for 2019 just yet.

The 27-year-old, now at her peak, will form a key part of England's squad at this summer's World Cup in France, hoping to fire the Lionesses to victory.


Club Career

Born and raised in Liverpool, Duggan started playing football for a local boys team, but her path into women's professional football formally began when she joined the youth ranks at Everton, despite growing up supporting the red half of Merseyside.

"I still like Liverpool and always will but Everton have played a massive part in my life," the player explained to FourFourTwo of her torn situation back in 2013.

Clive Mason/GettyImages

Duggan was a first-team debutant for Everton at 15 years of age and was a prodigious talent, later helping the Toffees win the 2010 FA Cup against a dominant Arsenal while still a teenager.

She remained with Everton until 2013 when Manchester City, then in the process of a major rebrand ahead of an ambitious project to dominate the women's game in England, came calling.

Having been with City for four years, Duggan became part of a growing trend of England stars moving abroad when she left the home comforts of the WSL in 2017 to test herself at Barcelona, a growing force at the continental level.

The move to Spain has brought with it many challenges on and off the pitch, but Duggan is thriving, including in her efforts to learn the language. Typically a wide forward, she has a commendable scoring record for Barça and this season helped them reach the Champions League final for the first time - only the second non-French or German club to do so in a decade.

Unfortunately, it ended in heartbreak this time around as a Lyon side spearheaded by Ada Hegerberg thrashed Barça to win an incredible fourth consecutive European title.

"[My family] are really proud, but as a player I want to win the game so I'm really upset," Duggan told 90min's Ben Haines after the game in Budapest.

"I'm sure I'll look back and realise that I've made history with Barcelona and hopefully one day we can win it. I'm [proud], but I'm a winner and I want to win. I've got the [runner-up] medal in my bag, but for me it counts for nothing because I want it to be a winner's medal."


International Career

Prior to her first senior international call-up in 2012, Duggan enjoyed a fine junior career with the Lionesses and was twice named in Under-20 World Cup squads, the first time still only 17.

She also helped England's Under-19 team win a first ever European Championship in 2009, which included scoring the decisive first goal in the final against Sweden.

Duggan's senior debut came against Croatia in September 2012, aged 21, and she now has 71 caps to date. As things stand, the now 27-year-old is the only player to have featured in all 17 games that current England boss Phil Neville has taken charge of since being appointed.

PAUL VERNON/GettyImages

Earlier this year, Duggan was part of the Lionesses squad that won the SheBelieves Cup for the first time, laying down a major statement in a World Cup year.


Major Tournaments

Along with Lucy Bronze and Jordan Nobbs, Duggan was one of the youngest players called up by manager Hope Powell to England's Euro 2013. Sadly, after much pre-tournament hype, it was a disappointing one for the Lionesses, with Powell relying on established stars struggling for fitness rather than risk using too many of the young talents at her disposal.

Christof Koepsel/GettyImages

The damage was done by an opening loss against Spain and failure to beat Russia, meaning England went home without a win after being thumped by France in the third game. Duggan at least scored the late equaliser against the Russians and was chosen to start the final fixture.

But the 2015 World Cup would provide much fonder memories. Duggan started four of England's seven games en route to finishing third, including the group stage wins over Mexico and Colombia, as well as the last 16 against Norway and semi-final against Japan.

Dennis Grombkowski/GettyImages

She started fewer games as England again reached the last four of Euro 2017, but scored twice and was the only Lioness other than Golden Boot winner Jodie Taylor to net more than once.

This summer's World Cup will be Duggan's fourth major tournament with England at senior level. It will be the first in which she has been assigned a 1-11 shirt number, having previously worn 17, 18 and 19, perhaps signalling her biggest role in the team yet.


Honours & Awards

An obvious star of the future at an early age, Duggan was named FA Young Player of the Year in 2009 and later England Women's Under-23 Player of the Year in 2012.

Having helped Everton to FA Cup glory in 2010, Duggan was part of the Manchester City side that won every major domestic trophy between 2014 and 2017, collecting two Continental Cups (2014 & 2016), one FA Cup (2017) and the Women's Super League title (2016).

Alex Livesey/GettyImages

With Barcelona, Duggan won the Copa de la Reina at the end of her debut season.


Things to Know/Any Other Business?

Despite a couple of ill-advised off-field moments, Duggan has also been a prominent figure and role model on social media, becoming the first England player to hit 100,000 followers on Twitter.

"I like social media and without social media the game wouldn't be where it's at. That's how people find out our fixtures, results, and get to know the players," she told the Daily Mail in 2016.

"It's a nice feeling that the women's game is supported and people are interested...particularly when I moved to Manchester City our aim was to change the perception of the game."

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