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Alessia Russo is now England’s best-ever substitute in terms of goals-to-game ratio – but the star is much more than just being a "super sub".
England made it through the finals of the Euros after an impressive 4-0 victory against Sweden on Tuesday night. And it was the Manchester United ace who was once again on hand to help secure the win, this time with a delightful backheel goal – her fourth of the campaign.
But she has a rich past, even for a 23-year-old. Born in Maidstone in Kent, the attacker is of Italian descent, with her Sicilian grandfather moving all the way to England in the 1950s. Meanwhile, she comes from a bit of a footballing family, with her father playing for the Met Police – and brother Giorgio playing non-league for Ramsgate in Kent.
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Russo started her career playing Bearsted Girls under 10's, before linking up at Charlton Athletic's centre of excellence. She found her break when she joined Chelsea's development squad and then moved south to sunny Brighton in 2017, where she found the back of the net three times in seven games.
Afterwhich she linked up with the North Carolina Tar Heels in America. There she scored 28 goals in total. It was only a month after leaving the club that she signed a two-year contract with her dream club, United. In the northwest last season, she notched 11 goals in 30 appearances in all competitions, earning herself the achievement of being the winner of the team's Players' Player of the Year award.
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Russo keeps most of her personal life behind closed doors – but she does enjoy posting some glamorous snaps of herself online, as well as showing her 170k followers fresh pictures of her training for her side at club and national level.
And indeed, Russo, who is Euro 2022’s joint top scorer, has hit national attention for being the star of the show as the Lionesses thrashed Sweden 4-0.
Last night, pundit Ian Wright likened Russo to Lionel Messi, saying: “‘Lessi’, not Messi, for what she [Russo] has done when she comes on. I don’t know what she has to do to start a game. The improvisation is fantastic.
"When she came on she instantly made an impact. She links play. I’m not sure what more she needs to do to start. When you look at Ellen White’s contribution over the years you can’t question it. But she hasn’t done enough in this tournament. This girl [Russo] is doing it. I don’t think Wiegman will change it."
Meanwhile, AceOdds has revealed Russo is in fact the country's most prolific scorer from the bench and is officially England’s best ever “super-sub.”
England’s top-scoring substitutes
Alessia Russo – Goals per substitute appearance, 0.70
Jermain Defoe – Goals per substitute appearance, 0.20
Peter Crouch – Goals per substitute appearance, 0.22
Michael Owen – Goals per substitute appearance, 0.40
Joe Cole – Goals per substitute appearance, 0.16
Harry Kane – Goals per substitute appearance, 0.24
Robbie Fowler – Goals per substitute appearance, 0.20
Shaun Wright-Phillips – Goals per substitute appearance, 0.14
Darius Vassell – Goals per substitute appearance, 0.19
Jamie Vardy – Goals per substitute appearance, 0.23
As well as this, Russo blows the rest of the subs out of the water in terms of how long it takes her to score a goal. Coming off the bench, she finds the net every 39 minutes. Edin Dzeko, in second place, does so every 89 mins, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer managed every 93 minutes, joint with Javier Hernandez.
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