Manchester United and England Women’s forward Alessia Russo opened up on newfound fame, having been nominated for the 2022 FIFA Puskas award.
WHAT HAPPENED? United striker Russo enjoyed a stellar 2022, taking her game to a new level with the Red Devils before setting the tournament alight at the Women’s European Championships throughout the summer. Her outstanding goal against Sweden has been nominated for the 2022 FIFA Puskas Award, and she has reflected on her journey and rise over the last year in a new interview.
WHAT THEY SAID: Telling all about the goal and a newfound level of stardom to Sky Sports, Russo explained: “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.”
She added: “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.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Russo played a huge role in the Lionesses winning the Euros last summer, scoring four goals and assisting once in six games at the tournament, which naturally boosted her popularity. The pick of the bunch, though, was her backheel in the semi-final thrashing of Sweden. The 23-year-old saw her initial shot saved by Hedvig Lindahl, but she pounced on the rebound as it bounced away from goal.
Instinctively, Russo backheeled the ball through the legs of two defenders and past the goalkeeper to give England a third goal in an eventual 4-0 win.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT FOR RUSSO? Before this summer’s World Cup kicks off in Australia and New Zealand, Russo has plenty to do to earn her place in Sarina Wiegman’s squad once again, and can do so by continuing to fire Manchester United towards a potential first ever WSL title.