England striker Toni Duggan has opened up for the first time about the injury that hampered her performances at the 2019 World Cup.
Duggan picked up a thigh injury upon her arrival in France, but England boss Phil Neville opted against sending her home. The Atletico Madrid forward started three of England's World Cup fixtures, but was visibly not at her best.
Duggan failed to score in the tournament, and did not feature in the semi-final defeat to the USA.
The extent to the former Manchester City striker's injury was not announced during the World Cup, but Duggan has now revealed just how detrimental it was to her campaign, and how painful that was for her.
Speaking to the Mail Online, Duggan said: "
So hard to put the last 5 weeks into words.. We believed more than ever before but we just fell short!! It hurts now & will do for a while but this group is special & I know success is just around the corner! We go again team ❤️gbeng @Lionesses pic.twitter.com/RZtdqW2JPS— Toni Duggan (@toniduggan) July 8, 2019
"Ask any player, to miss out on a major tournament - and I know I was there and some players missed out altogether - but I feel like I missed out, too, because I couldn't give my best for the team.
Duggan played a key role for Barcelona during the 2018/19 season, as they reached the Champions League final for the first time in the club's history. She was also a regular starter for Phil Neville during the World Cup qualifiers, and featured in every SheBelieves Cup fixture for England, as the Lionesses won the invitational tournament.
However, Duggan has admitted that her injury prevented her from reaching those highs during the World Cup.
The Liverpudlian added: "