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Izzy Christiansen targets Team GB Olympics spot after Everton move

‘2019 was rough, but it’s life, it’s football’ – Izzy Christiansen

Everton Women’s new signing Izzy Christiansen says she will “give everything” to go to the Olympics.

The 28-year-old midfielder missed out on a place in England’s 2019 World Cup squad because of an ankle injury.

After signing an 18-month deal with Everton from Lyon in December, Christiansen has set her sights on the Great Britain squad and the Olympics.

“I will be giving my everything so I am back in contention for a place in the squad,” Christiansen said.

“I understand where I am at and I have to control where I am, and I am in a fantastic place to do that.

“I know if I am fresh and ready I will be in the thoughts of the manager [for the Olympics].”

‘Neville was encouraging about coming back’

After 18 months at Lyon, Christiansen has moved back to Women’s Super League club Everton.

The England international was the first of three new signings for manager Willie Kirk during the winter transfer window.

Despite wanting to “finish the season with Lyon”, Christiansen made the decision to come back to the WSL based on advice from England manager Phil Neville, who will also lead Team GB in the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

“He was very encouraging towards the move back to England,” she said. “He came out to Lyon in November and spoke to the England based players out there.

“Hopefully this will help but my priorities are giving my all in an Everton shirt and seeing where that takes me.

“I wanted to finish off the season [at Lyon] but I think for my career it was really important I came back when the opportunity arose.”

‘I felt guilty for celebrating’

While at Lyon, Christiansen won the French treble – the Division 1 title, Coupe de France and Champions League – but suffered an ankle injury playing for England in the 2019 SheBelieves Cup.

The injury forced her to have surgery and saw her miss out on key games including the Champions League final, something she found difficult to deal with.

“It’s horrible being in the gym for a long period of time,” the midfielder said.

“There were times when I would turn up and go to training and I would not want to get out of the car because you don’t want to be in the gym again.

“When we won the Champions League with Lyon, I was about three or four weeks from being back on the grass and it was the weirdest feeling ever.

“I had not really had anything to do with the semi-final or the final but then I was celebrating with the team.

“I had watched the game in the stadium and then as soon as the final whistle went I was celebrating.

“I felt guilty for celebrating. I can look back and I know I had an influence in the Champions League that season – I had scored goals, I had assisted goals until I got injured.”

Article courtesy of BBC Sport
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