England’s Alessia Russo on advice from ‘idol’ David Beckham
To get the most out of her first Women’s World Cup experience, England striker Alessia Russo took advice from her “idol” David Beckham.
At 11:30 BST on Saturday, Russo, 24, will start his fourth match in Australia as England prepares to face Colombia in the quarterfinals.
The Arsenal striker made only substitute appearances at Euro 2022, her second major tournament.
Russo told me that the conversation was completely centered around the World Cup.
During the World Cup, Beckham spoke to Russo about what he did on the pitch as well as how he felt.
According to her, those were the best and biggest memories of his career – moments that he will never forget. He said he had made his greatest memories in an England shirt.”
It’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was a little girl. Stepping into my first World Cup is something I’ve dreamed about for as long as I can remember.”
Before flying out to Australia, Russo exchanged shirts and numbers with Beckham, and was told Harper was the favorite player of his 12-year-old daughter.
Russo said that he was one of her idols since she was a child.
Having a normal conversation with someone you watched on the world stage as a young girl is one of my biggest highlights off the pitch.
We should never lose sight of what we are doing as a team. Sometimes we are always in the moment and all we see and compete for is stuff on the pitch and in training.
“However, Harper’s love for us goes beyond that, and that’s really special to hear.”
During Euro 2022, Russo scored four goals off the bench, including an infamous backheel in the semifinals, as a “super-sub” for now retired striker Ellen White.
It has been difficult for England at the World Cup to score goals, with 1-0 wins over Haiti and Denmark in the group stages, and an overtime penalty shootout against Nigeria in the last 16.
It was England’s 6-1 thrashing of China that marked the highlight of the tournament so far, with Russo scoring the only goal after just four minutes.
“As a striker, I like to create and assist as much as possible, but you can also have other impacts in games,” said Russo.
The feeling of scoring in a World Cup is obviously nice, but the whole goal here is to win and progress.
Yes, it was great, but as long as we won, it was great. It’s just fractions that determine the outcome.
Whether you are playing for your country or for a club, there is always a weight on your shoulders. It is different from playing for a club, but you’re doing the same job and focusing on the same things.”