Alessia Russo: who is England’s backheel Euro 2022 star? Lioness & club career plus Italian heritage explained

The ‘super-sub’ grabbed the headlines with her sensational semi-final goal against Sweden as Sarina Wiegman’s side secured their spot in the final

England’s march to the final of Women’s Euro 2022 has captivated the nation with the showpiece event still to come on Sunday when they face Germany.

Sarina Wiegman’s side stormed through the group stage before a thrilling extra-time win over Spain in the quarter-finals at Brighton’s Amex Stadium and a sensational 4-0 semi finals victory over Sweden at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane.

The whole team earned deserved plaudits for eliminating the 1984 winners, but it was substitute Alessia Russo who provided the biggest individual talking point with a stunning backheel nutmeg goal to make the score 3-0.

Here is everything you need to know about the Lioness’ “super sub” including her international and club career so far and her Italian heritage.

Who is Alessia Russo?

Alessia Mia Teresa Russo is 23-years old and plays as an attacking midfielder or forward.

She was born in Maidstone, England and her Instagram account has 184,000 followers where she regularly provides fans with updates from heir footballing career and personal life.

Russo comes from a family of athletes with her father and brother both having played non-league football in England and her other brother having earned a track & field scholarship at the University of Missouri .

Alessia Russo club career so far

Russo played for Bearsted Girls U10 as a child and started her youth career with Charlton Athletic.

Her next stop was Chelsea where she was named captain of the Blues’ development squad and made one appearance for the senior side before moving to Brighton & Hove Albion.

Russo only spent half a season with the Seagulls before heading across the Atlantic to play college soccer with ACC team North Carolina Tar Heels.

During her time in the USA she made 57 appearances across three seasons with the NCAA Division 1 side and scored 28 goals.

In 2020, Russo returned to England and signed for Manchester United where she continues to play her club football.

A United supporter, she made five appearances and scored three goals in her debut season for the Red Devils but it was the 2021/22 campaign where she really made her mark.

Russo scored 14 goals in 35 games across all competitions and was named the club’s Player’s Player of the Year.

That impressive form all but guaranteed she would be included in the England squad for this summer’s Euro finals.

Alessia Russo international career so far

Russo won her first cap for the Lionesses in the 2020 SheBelieves Cup as a second half substitute for for Toni Duggan in a 1–0 defeat to Spain.

Her first international goals came when she scored a hat-trick in the record breaking 20-0 hammering of Lativa in their qualifying group for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Russo, who represented England Under 15, 17, 19, 20 and 21 level as won 12 senior caps to date and scored an impressive eight goals so far.

Is Alessia Russo Italian? England star’s heritage explained

Russo was born in Maidstone, but her Italian heritage comes from her grandfather who move to England from Sicily in the 1950s.

The Manchester United start would therefore have been eligible to represent the Italian national team but has turned out for England right through her youth and senior career.