Alessia Russo set England – and people around the world watching the Women’s Euros – on fire Tuesday with her backheel nutmeg goal.
The goal helped seal the Lionesses’ 4-0 against Sweden in the semifinal, and while teammate Beth Mead made history in the win, Russo stole the show.
Her strike, which has been dubbed “sublime” and “outrageous” by various media outlets, even earned the No. 1 spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays of the day.
“I could have made it a lot easier for myself if I’d scored the first one. It fell nicely and I don’t really remember much about it,” Russo told Sky Sports News.
“I just thought it was the quickest route to get it in the back of the net without having to turn and I was fortunate it went in. I didn’t really see it go in, so I don’t know how it went in to be honest. But I just celebrated and enjoyed the moment.”
.@alessiarusso7 are you kidding me?? 🤯#WEURO2022 pic.twitter.com/gyY7yzPMyi— Just Women’s Sports (@justwsports) July 26, 2022
.@alessiarusso7 are you kidding me?? 🤯#WEURO2022 pic.twitter.com/gyY7yzPMyi
Twitter erupted after the tally, with some of the game’s best heaping praise on the goal.
“Not gonna lie, that was lit from Russo,” wrote Chelsea and Australia star Sam Kerr, who won the Golden Boot in the Women’s Super League last season and remains the all-time leading scorer for both Australia and the NWSL.
Not gonna lie, that was lit from Russo— Sam Kerr (@samkerr1) July 26, 2022
Not gonna lie, that was lit from Russo
U.S. women’s national team legend Abby Wambach – who remains the leading goal scorer in USWNT history with 184 international goals – also lauded Russo for the play.
“I dreamt of scoring a goal like that my whole life. Never happened. Alessia Russo take a bow. Go on England,” she said.
I dreamt of scoring a goal like that my whole life. Never happened. @alessiarusso7 take a bow. Go on England.— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) July 26, 2022
I dreamt of scoring a goal like that my whole life. Never happened. @alessiarusso7 take a bow. Go on England.
Wambach’s former teammate and current USWNT forward Megan Rapinoe – who is no stranger to outrageous goals – called it “comically disgusting.”
“The nerve, my gawd,” she wrote on Twitter.
Fr lmaOOOOOOOOOOOFFFFFFFFFF comically disgusting. The nerve, my gawd 🤌🏼 https://t.co/5t2W50Okke— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) July 27, 2022
Fr lmaOOOOOOOOOOOFFFFFFFFFF comically disgusting. The nerve, my gawd 🤌🏼 https://t.co/5t2W50Okke
Soccer commentators also pointed out the audacity of Russo’s goal.
“The cheek! If that had happened to me in training I would have been having a go,” said former England keeper Rachel Brown-Finnis. “There have been jaw-dropping moments in this tournament and that was another one.”
England midfielder Izzy Christiansen told the BBC: “If that goal is not taking the mickey, I don’t know what is.”
Former Arsenal and England standout Ian Wright said Russo, who entered in the 57th minute, should be in the conversation for a starting role for the Lionesses.
“The improvisation is fantastic. When she came on she instantly made an impact,” Wright said. “She links play. I’m not sure what more she needs to do to start.”
England manager Sarina Wiegman praised Russo’s abilities to come on as a substitute and immediately change the nature of the game.
“You must have so much courage to do something, such an unpredictable and phenomenal thing like that,” she said, later adding that the team isn’t done making history.
“(The media asked), ‘Are you ready to make history?’ This is history,” Wiegman continued. “We want to inspire the nation. I think that’s what we’re doing. We want to make a difference.”