Russo excited and unfazed by Old Trafford occasion

Thursday 01 December 2022 15:10

Manchester United Women striker Alessia Russo is eager to take to the Old Trafford pitch again this weekend, but says she is preparing no differently for Aston Villa’s visit to the Theatre of Dreams.

The forward has been in great form for the Reds this season, and is excited to have the opportunity to play at the iconic stadium again, when Marc Skinner’s side take on Aston Villa in the WSL on Saturday (12:30 GMT).

While a record crowd is expected to greet the Reds, Russo believes that her previous experience at big stadiums – with both United and England Lionesses – will stand her in good stead.

“I think we’ve had a few good preps for it [playing at Old Trafford], obviously last game at the Emirates and I think a few of us have played at Old Trafford before,” said the striker on the UTD Podcast, ahead of the clash with Aston Villa.

“I think we’re more excited [but our] prep’s no different. We just can’t wait to go out there in front of all our friends and family, and the fans, and hopefully give them a performance that they’re looking for.”

Alessia says that the occasion is as special for the players on the pitch as it is for the fans in the stands, who will follow Skinner’s team from Leigh Sports Village to the Theatre of Dreams.

“I think Leigh is a lovely pitch and we’ve got our own fanbase there,” she said. “They follow us up and down the country and now we just want to keep it growing and getting bigger and better.

“For us as players, it’s amazing to play at Old Trafford, but I think it’s so nice to have the fans there. They don’t get to experience, especially us playing on it, week in, week out so when we can, it’s important for us that we give them a day to remember.

“They’re great and we can’t thank them enough for all the support they give us throughout the season.”

What Old Trafford means to Russo Video

What Old Trafford means to Russo

In this podcast clip, Alessia explains what it means for United Women to play in front of huge Old Trafford crowds...

Saturday’s fixture also holds extra significance for Russo, who’s family have travelled far to come and watch her play at our iconic stadium.

“A win on Saturday would be nice,” she said. “My nan and aunt are coming over from Italy, so that will be nice.

“Then [after that] there’s the derby, a bit of a Christmas break and then it’s all systems go second half of the season.”

Alessia Russo - “The game has changed”


In this unmissable episode, United Women striker Alessia Russo discusses the experience of playing for the Reds, previews the upcoming WSL match against Aston Villa at Old Trafford, and reveals exactly what it is like to win the Euros with England. Sam Homewood, David May and Helen Evans chat to Alessia about her football journey, the monumental shift in women's football over the last decade, and why it is important for that growth to continue. Russo reveals her sporting idols and discusses her hobbies and pastimes too, as you get to know what Alessia is like, away from simply scoring bags of goals on the pitch.