Euro 2022 winner Alessia Russo on making history, inspiring a generation and that viral backheel goal. Read our exclusive interview
The first thing you will notice about Alessia Russo is her sheer enthusiasm for sport. The 27-year-old doesn’t just play football, she loves it.
She’s also not one for talking a lot, so when she was about to play a game of roller derby she had a choice to make: She could either speak to people in person during her match and risk them having their expectations upset or she could just sit at home and watch it, which is exactly what she chose to do.
As it turned out, her team lost their first match, but that didn’t stop her from making a difference.
So how exactly did she make such a splash at a time when people often don’t find sport at all?
Alessia is one of only six players to win the Uefa Women’s Champions Cup before she was 12 years old and played at a time when there was still a stigma attached to females playing football.
So how exactly did she make such a splash at a time when people often don’t find sport at all? The truth is, this was simply the next stage in her career. She came to Liverpool Women’s first as a 14-year-old and not a long time later she won the Women’s Under-17 World Cup.
The then Arsenal Ladies, who will join Chelsea in the Women’s FA Cup final on Saturday, saw her playing in her first competitive game just two days after making her debut.
That first game ended with a 4-0 win for Liverpool.
That performance set the tone for a season that was to last 10 years – a period marked by great wins and more wins. The 2015-16 season saw the Reds win the Women’s FA Cup for the third time and finish runners-up in the Women’s FFA Cup. That campaign, Russo said, meant she had “a big decision to make” because she was only 14 years old and a teenager at that point was not given much say in what she was being asked to do or who.