Puska’s appreciation for women’s football is “huge,” says England striker Alessia Russo

The recognition of the Puskas Prize for women’s football is “huge,” says England striker Alessia Russo after her outrageous back-heel in the Euro 2022 semi-final was included in the 11-player shortlist alongside Kylian Mbappe

  • Russo admitted the FIFA Puskas Award nomination is “surreal”.
  • Three goals scored by women made it onto the shortlist for the 2022 award
  • The England star has been nominated alongside some of the biggest names in world football

Alessia Russo admitted being nominated alongside Kylian Mbappe for the FIFA Puskas Awards was “surreal” but stressed the recognition for women’s football was “huge”.

Russo’s back-heel in England’s semi-final win over Sweden is one of three goals scored by women to make it onto the 11-man shortlist for the 2022 award, which will be decided by a public vote.

The Manchester United forward is called up alongside some of the biggest names in world football including Mbappe, Richarlison and Mario Balotelli.

Alessia Russo's back heel finish is one of three goals scored by women on the 11-man shortlist

Alessia Russo’s back heel finish is one of three goals scored by women on the 11-man shortlist

“It’s massive, as much as you don’t want to call it surreal, it is,” Russo said of her nomination.

“A few years ago that wouldn’t have been the case and now it’s huge to have that kind of recognition for women footballers, not just in England but around the world. It’s huge for the direction the sport is set to go and it’s safe to say that’s where it’s going now.

“A great goal is a great goal, whether it’s from a men’s or women’s game. I think it’s great. We want women’s football to be at the top and recognized by the best. Now it goes there. It’s great for the game.

“I know when I was a kid and saw the gates of Puskas, there were never any women there. It’s great for women’s sport, women’s football and young girls out there.

“It’s really beautiful and it’s nothing short of what women’s football deserves. people like Beth [Mead] Being recognized as Sports Personality of the Year, it’s nice to see top athletes being recognized for what they’ve accomplished.

“It has taken many years to get to this point in women’s sport, and women’s football in particular, but now everything is bearing fruit.

Russo’s rear heel nutmeging Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl became an overnight social media sensation. The boots Russo wore during the game were displayed at the Tower of London, while goal shirts went on sale shortly after the tournament.

“The shoes at the Tower of London were the most incredible and then Art of Football came out with a t-shirt and then Adidas got that and wanted to put the Adidas boots on it, which was really nice.

“I have one, I haven’t worn it, but I have one. A couple of the girls have them and wear them sometimes to upset me, I get a little embarrassed when people wear them to be honest.

“The club I played at as a young girl was called Bearsted, they had a training session a few days after the game and one of their exercises was a heel exercise – I don’t know why but they just wanted it to their session Add! That was really cool – I was sent some nice videos of all this which was lovely.

Russo joked that she was “a little tired” of being asked about the goal, but admitted it’s probably the best she’s scored in her career.

“I think it has to be [the best]. Every goal in a big competition is huge, and then in the semifinals, and the nature of it.

“The goal was an instinctive moment and I was just glad it went into the net!”

Fans can vote for their favorite goal on the FIFA website –

FIFA PUSKAS AWARD NOMINATES

Mario Balotelli (Italy): Adana Demirspor vs Goztepe Spor Kulubü [Süper Lig] (May 22, 2022)

Amandine Henry (France): FC Barcelona – Olympique Lyonnais [UEFA Women’s Champions League] (May 21, 2022)

Théo Hernández (France): AC Milan – Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio, [Serie A] (May 15, 2022)

Alou Kuol (Australia): Iraq U23 – Australia U23 [AFC U23 Asian Cup] (June 4, 2022)

Kylian Mbappé (France): Argentina vs France [FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™] (December 18, 2022)

Francisco González Metilli (Argentina): Club Atlético Central Córdoba vs. Club Atlético Rosario Central [Primera División] (1 Aug 2022)

Marcin Oleksy (Poland): Warta Poznan vs. Stal Rzeszów [PZU Amp Futbol Ekstraklasa] (November 6, 2022)

Salma Paralluelo (Spain): FC Barcelona – Villarreal CF [Liga F] (April 2, 2022)

Dimitri Payet (France): Olympique de Marseille v PAOK Thessaloniki FC [UEFA Europa Conference League] (April 7, 2022)

Richarlison (Brazil): Brazil vs. Serbia [FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022] (11/24/2022)

Alessia Russo (England): England vs Sweden [UEFA Women’s EURO 2022] (July 26, 2022)

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Maureen Mackey

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