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Lioness Alessia Russo stays grounded so she can focus on her 'big dreams'

london, england february 12 alessia russo of manchester united women during the fa womens super league match between tottenham hotspur and manchester united at tottenham hotspur stadium on february 12, 2023 in london, united kingdom photo by visionhausgetty images
Alessia Russo stays grounded to focus on big goalsVisionhaus

Alessia Russo was at the heart of a world record-breaking transfer bid in January 2023 when Arsenal tried to poach her from Manchester United for £400,000.

If the Red Devils had accepted, it would have been the biggest transfer fee in the history of women's football.

Maidstone-born Alessia, 24, grew up supporting Man Utd. She joined the club in September 2020. Not long after, she was the team's top goal scorer of the 2021/22 season, and was voted Manchester United’s Player of the Year.

Russo stormed into the football hall of fame thanks to her impressive back heel goal against Sweden in the semi-final of the Euros. It won her Goal of the Tournament and a Puskas nomination.

But despite huge media attention, Alessia told Sky Sports she was still the same down to earth girl as ever.

She said: 'I still see myself as Alessia. I grew up in a little town. My family are so close to me, I think that's a credit to all of them - and myself I guess - that I'm a very light-hearted, easy-going kind of person, but I have really high expectations.

'Even awards like this: it still feels weird to be nominated. I hope to go on and achieve a lot more than just this. As a female footballer and just the person I am, I have to stay grounded and have bigger dreams to fill.'

What league clubs has Alessia Russo played for?

The superstar goal scorer began her career at Charlton Athletic’s Centre of Excellence before joining Chelsea’s development squad and eventually becoming captain of the team.

While she led the development team, Russo struggled to find her place in Chelsea’s senior squad with her first and only appearance being in the first round of the FA Women’s Super League Continental Cup in July 2016.

In 2017 she moved to Brighton & Hove Albion before moving to the US to play for the University of North Carolina - where England manager Sarina Wiegman also attended decades prior.

When did Alessia Russo start playing for England?

Alessia played for England in their U15s squad and for every age level up to the senior team, making her debut in March 2020 in the She Believes Cup when the Lionesses took on Spain.

Since her first cap, the 5ft 9 (175cm) player has become a crucial goal-scorer for the Lionesses and wowed us all in the Euro’s, scoring four times in the tournament – all in games where she started as a substitute.

What has been the biggest moment in Alessia Russo’s career?

While Russo has won numerous awards throughout her career, including winning third place at the 2018 U20 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the biggest moment in our eyes came last summer at the Euro’s.

And no - it wasn’t when the Lionesses won the final.

Russo’s big highlight came in the semi-final in the 68th minute of the game against Sweden. After her initial attempt at netting the ball was saved by the Swedish goalkeeper, Alessia kept a cool head and instinctively hit the ball with a back-heel kick, evading everyone in its path and sealing her third goal of the tournament.

The goal was so impressive that it even landed her Goal of the Tournament and a nomination for FIFA’s prestigious Puskas Award.

Does Alessia Russo come from a football family?

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in Alessia’s family with both her dad and her brother playing for teams in their younger years.

Her father played for the Metropolitan Police football team and was their all-time top goalscorer during his time on the pitch.

What are some interesting facts about Alessia Russo?

Off the pitch, Alessia has made a name for herself as the first female European sports ambassador for Beats by Dre. It seems a banging playlist is essential to her pre-match routine, with Alessia sharing: 'as soon as I head into the stadium I put my headphones on to get in the zone… I like songs that get me amped up.'

You can listen to her curated mix on Apple Music. It features tracks from Drake, Burna Boy, and Rihanna.

In February 2023, Alessia was awarded an honorary doctorate from Canterbury Christ Church University so perhaps we should start referring to her as Dr. Russo of the Lionesses from now on.

Where can I follow Alessia Russo on social media?

Alessia is all over social media with fun snaps of her day-to-day life and plenty of cool football pictures on her Instagram (@alessiarusso99) and her twitter (@alessiarusso7).

She also posts videos to TikTok so head over to @alessia.russo23 to get some great behind the scenes shots of life as a Lioness.

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