Author: Deborah

FIFA’s first female president

FIFA’s first female president

Euro 2022 winner Alessia Russo on making history, inspiring a generation and that viral backheel goal

Alessia Russo, a student at the University of Manchester who graduated 10th in her class, is not one to hide her thoughts. Every day, she watches the world’s leading news networks – CNN, BBC, Sky and RT – to learn about politics, world affairs and social issues. She loves politics but in her life she doesn’t have too much of it because, “the more I try to fight for it, the more I know that it never ends.” Since graduating in 2014, she has been working on a PhD at the School of Media, Culture and Communication.

Born in Italy to a Greek father and an Italian mother, Alessia was a lifelong fan of football (her first-ever goal came against Juventus in December 2012 before she went on to win the Champions League with Liverpool in 2013) and has been a supporter of Liverpool for 20 years. But the team meant so much more to her than football – from the very beginning she wanted to do something for them and support them, in her own way.

“I always wanted to become a politician and I always knew that I wanted to run for the presidency of FIFA (the World Football Association). But it hasn’t happened. I just wanted to work with them to raise their profile, both on the world stage and as a club. So I think I had to leave university because I realised that football is the only team I’d work with. Football is the most competitive team in the world and the one I’d chose to work with the most. That made me realise that I’d have to work with them until my very last day.”

Alessia has made history because she became the first female president of FIFA. But she was also there as an inspiration to a generation of football players, especially young women, who had

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