Alessia Russo's football career – and why she doesn't start for England

by 24britishtvJuly 31, 2022, 9:40 p.m. 20
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Alessia Russo sent the country into bedlam on Tuesday night (July 26) when she scored England’s third goal against Sweden with her backheel, in the semi-final of the Women's Euros 2022.

The Lionesses have crashed out of the semi-final twice previously, so a lot was riding on this game.

Russo came off the bench in the 52nd minute to replace Ellen White, which she has done at every game so far this tournament.

After missing the goal originally, she recaptured the ball and calmly scored with a backheel that went through the goalkeeper’s legs.

It was fantastic, and it is clear we should expect great things from her in the future.

Alessia Russo is a 23-year-old forward from Maidstone in Kent, and she has been playing football since she was a child.

She has a long and successful career in football already, and has come off the bench for the Lionesses at every single game in the EUFA Euros 2022 tournament.

Her goal on Tuesday has made her the joint-second top goal scorer of the tournament.

Which team does Russo play for?

Her career properly took off when she joined Charlton Athletics Centre of Excellence, where after two years she was signed to Chelsea.

She played there from 2011, but left and after a brief stint at Brighton in the FA Women’s Super League, she moved to America to play college soccer for ACC team North Carolina Tar Heels.

She joined Manchester United in September 2020 on a two-year contract, after leaving the US team because of uncertainty around the coronavirus outbreak and restrictions.

Her family have a history of being United fans, as her grandfather, from Sicily, had an obsession with the Busby Babes when he moved to England around 1958.

In the 2021/22 season, Russo scored three goals and got two assists in her first five appearances for United, and won the teams Players’ Player of the Year award.

As well as her career at Manchester United, she represents the Lionesses, and there are rumours that she will replace Ellen White once she retires.

Why doesn’t she start for England?

Russo suffered a hamstring injury in November 2020, not long after joining Manchester United.

Since the start of the Euros 2022 tournament, she has been referred to as the “super-sub” by fans as she has come off the bench in every single game.

Fans and pundits have been calling for England manager Sarina Wiegman to start Russo throughout the tournament instead of Ellen White, but she has so far resisted.

Alessia is the daughter of Carol and Mario, and has two brothers called Luca and Giorgio.

Her two brothers also pursued a career in football, but Luca eventually decided to focus more on track.

Russo’s father was also a successful footballer, though not professionally.

He was a police officer in the Metropolitan Police football club and played for their side for 18 years, during which time he became the all-time top goal scorer.

Mario told Our Game Mag in 2017 that he moved his daughter from the girls team to a boys team when he saw her potential, which prompted “strange looks” from other parents.

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