Alessia Russo’s cheeky back-heel in the semi-final of the Euros has been shortlisted for the FIFA Puskas award.
The Lionesses beat Sweden 4-0 in the last four before going on to beat Germany in the final but Russo’s goal was an iconic moment in England’s quest for victory.
The Manchester United striker is nominated alongside some of the biggest names in world football including Kylian Mbappe, Richarlison and Mario Balotelli.
Russo’s strike is one of three goals scored by women to be included in the 11 shortlisted goals.
In an article published by the Daily MailRusso said, “It’s massive, as much as you don’t want to say it’s surreal, it is.”
She continued, “A few years ago that wouldn’t have been the case so now to have these kinds of recognition for female footballers, not only in England but across the world, is huge.
“It’s huge for where we want the sport to go and you can tell this is the direction it is going now.”
A commanding 4-0 victory over Sweden saw the Lionesses claim a spot in the #WEURO2022 final at Wembley Stadium! 🦁
— UEFA Women’s EURO (@WEURO) July 28, 2022
“An amazing goal is an amazing goal – it doesn’t matter if it’s come from the men’s or the women’s game. I think it’s great. We want women’s football to be up there and recognized with the best. Now it’s getting there. It’s great for the game.”
Russo believes it’s a huge step forward for the women’s game and will help to inspire the next generation.
“I know when I was a kid, watching the Puskas goals, there were never any women on there. It’s great for women’s sport, women’s football and for young girls out there.”
She went on to refer to Beth Mead’s win at this year’s Sports Personality of the Year and how the landscape is shifting.
“It’s really nice and it’s nothing short of what women’s football deserves. The likes of Beth [Mead] winning Sports Personality of the Year, it’s nice to see top female athletes being recognized for what they have done.
“It’s taken a lot of years to get to this point for women’s sport and women’s football in particular but now things are coming to fruition with it all.”
The outrageous goal which nutmegged the Swedish keeper was England’s third of four goals scored that night but it was a moment that had commentators gasping, “What was that!?”
The boots Russo was wearing were displayed in the Tower of London shortly after and t-shirts depicting the goal were put on sale.
Meanwhile, at her old club, Bearsted, they added the trick to their drills and sent videos to the 23 year-old of themselves trying to replicate it.
Although Russo admitted she sometimes gets sick of people asking about the goal, she says it’s the best one she’s scored in her career.
“I think it has to be [the best]. Any goal in a major competition is huge, and then in the semi-final, and the nature of it. The goal was an instinctive moment and I was just glad it hit the back of the net!”
Fans can vote for their favorite goal on the FIFA website.
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