Lionesses squad’s favourite sing-along is Kate Nash ‘Foundations’ before World Cup final
England hero Alessia Russo hails from a talented sporting family which includes her father, who is the all-time record goalscorer for the Metropolitan Police. Russo has emerged as one of the Lionesses’ key players in recent years and has been in fine form at the Women’s World Cup with three goals to her name.
The 24-year-old, who recently left Manchester United to join Arsenal on a free transfer, will be hoping to find the net again when England face Spain in this weekend’s Women’s World Cup final. She is likely to be given the nod in attack by Sarina Wiegman after starting every single game at the tournament so far.
Russo is not the only footballer in her family, though, with her father Mario having also been a prolific forward during his time in non-league. A copper by trade, he turned out for the Metropolitan Police for nearly 18 years and is the club’s all-time record goalscorer.
Mario joined the force in 1980 before excelling as part of their football team, who currently play in the eighth tier of English football. He went on to represent British Police on a number of occasions and played for the Met in the FA Trophy when they reached the second round in 1990, losing to eventual winners Barrow by a single goal.
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He also played a pivotal role in helping Russo to fall in love with football as a child, although they used to get ‘strange looks’ from other parents when she was the only girl on her team.
“Alessia had no option but to play football, it was non-negotiable,” her father told Our Game Mag back in 2017. “She was used as the goalkeeper, the defender, the player to get nutmegged, the player to get two-footed.
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“The first training session was hard. I always remember walking across the pitch to introduce her to the manager and I was getting really strange looks from the parents. They couldn’t believe this young girl had the front to train with their superstar boys.”
Mario will almost certainly be watching with pride when his daughter walks out with the Lionesses at the Women’s World Cup final against Spain on Sunday. It remains to be seen whether England will get the job done, although Russo will be desperate to stamp her authority on the historic occasion by popping up with another goal or two.
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