Man Utd striker Alessia Russo says ‘women’s football is finally getting credit it deserves’ | Football News

With a new televised deal and increased sponsorship, Manchester United’s Alessia Russo said that Sky Sports women’s football is finally getting the credit it deserves, but that there is still a lot to follow.

Since the start of the WSL 2021/22 season, Sky Sports and the BBC shared the broadcasting rights to the women’s top flight in a deal described as “game changer” by the FA’s women’s professional game director Kelly Simmons.

Last month, over the women’s football weekend, when the WSL took center stage during the Premier League international break, a cumulative audience of over 1.5 million tuned in to watch the women’s game – and more than 40,000 were at Wembley for the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Arsenal last week.

In November, the WSL also set a goal of nearly triple attendance by 2024. It’s an ambitious target, but the announcement that Barclays will inject £ 30m into women’s football over the next three years will certainly help.

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Check out Alessia Russo’s incredible solo goal against Tottenham, which was awarded as a WSL goal for the month of November.

So the wheels are certainly in motion. Russian, speaking from Special Shesports Cup Christmas show, a women’s-led tournament to inspire more women and girls to take part in esports, is already feeling the effects of increased exposure.

“It was great for women’s football,” she said.

“I’ve seen a lot more on Instagram and Twitter, and it’s finally getting the credit it deserves.

“I hope there is a lot more to come, I love seeing all the highlights and being a footballer you love to turn on Sky and see a WSL game being advertised. There is still a long way to go, but it has come a long way.

“Our game should have been on Sky years ago! It has happened now and I think we have to use it to our advantage and hopefully also with this summer’s European Championships it will keep the game progressing forward.

“Every person in the WSL has a look at how things are progressing. We want to continue growing our appearances at the games and finals, and the FA Cup Final was such an amazing event at Wembley.

“It is an extraordinary statistic for women’s football, and this is the future: it is exactly where we want to go for all matches. We would like to bring more and more people to the finals and every week to the clubs.”

Alessia Russo spoke from the ShEsports Cup Christmas special show. The SheSports Cup is an all-female game series developed by broadcaster Rachel Stringer and Blueprint Sports and aims to inspire a new generation of women to participate in the world of games and ad other sectors of sport and entertainment.  For more information follow @shesportscup on Instagram.
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Alessia Russo spoke from the ShEsports Cup Christmas special show.

Russo has seen firsthand how great women’s play can be. After a handful of WSL 2 appearances at 18 with Brighton, she moved to the state to play college football for North Carolina’s Tar Heels, which have regularly welcomed 3,000 gates.

The U.S. top flight, NWSL, had an average attendance of over 7,000 – more than the WSL’s 2024 goal – in its last full season with fans in 2019, and saw figures on par with Major League Baseball for its TV coverage in 2020.

Alessia Russo scored England's fastest women's hat-trick against Latvia last month
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Russo scored England’s fastest women’s hat-trick against Latvia last month

“It’s huge out there, probably bigger than the men’s because they have so many other sports – basketball, American football, baseball – so women’s soccer outshines men,” Russo said. “We can learn from that system, the crowds they attract, the fan base and the following they have is incredible. In England, it’s going in the right direction, but getting more exposure is key and that’s what they need most.

“I wasn’t overwhelmed when I went, I loved it. For me going to college, I didn’t really expect that many fans, but in the first game we sold out in a 5,000 seat stadium. Week after week you’re getting more. about 3,000 and that’s crazy for a college team, but I really enjoyed it. It was great, and the college support is great. “

Alongside the larger game, Russo herself is garnering many additional accolades this season. A nagging hamstring injury that proved difficult to shake off ruined her 2020/21 campaign, but the 22-year-old returned with a bang with three goals in six starting games for Manchester United this season.

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Highlights from the women’s Super League clash between Brighton and Manchester United.

This earned her a recall to England’s senior squad, nearly two years after her previous call-up, and although an impressive performance in the 20-0 World Cup qualifier win against Latvia may not have been the toughest test to impress Serina Wiegman. , made her the Lioness’ fastest hat-trick scorer, despite starting off the bench, with her quick trio of goals arriving in just 11 short minutes.

“I was just happy to be back in the team, but I didn’t know it was the fastest hat-trick until I came out and someone told me,” she said. “I hope someday I’ll tell my grandchildren!

“It was really good to come back. When you are out with an injury, obviously I didn’t expect to be out for that long, but sometimes it happens with rehab and it was great to get back on the team. I was having fun getting back on the team and training with the best players in the country, then I was lucky enough to have a chance, it was fantastic and I really enjoyed returning to the national team.

“When you get injured, you always have to keep your mind focused on other things. One of the things I thought about was right, I know rehabilitation is difficult, but think about where you want to go and remember how much fun you had when you were there. I always remember being on the pitch, playing well and hopefully getting involved with England because I had a little taste of it before and it made me want it even more. “

Alessia Russo spoke from the ShEsports Cup Christmas special show. The SheSports Cup is an all-female game series developed by broadcaster Rachel Stringer and Blueprint Sports and aims to inspire a new generation of women to participate in the world of games and ad other sectors of sport and entertainment. For more information follow @shesportscup on Instagram.

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