Euro 2022 winner Alessia Russo on making history, inspiring a generation and that viral backheel goal
Alessia Russo was raised in a small town in the south of Italy. She went to the local school, played the piano and the violin and made her mark in the community. Then, she moved to London.
In the spring of 2001 she fell in love. She was 20 and had been in love with Harry for a year. He was her Italian boyfriend and he was also the son of a well-known politician. But when the relationship turned into marriage, she moved to her father’s country and to her mother’s relatives and there she was forced to face her past.
‘I decided to start the story with me’
“I decided to start the story with me, because I was the girl who made history,” she tells TIME. “The story told by Alessia is the story of my triumph, the story of my life. It is a story full of tears and triumph, joy and pain, and that is what I loved.”
The story she tells is the story of her love, her happiness and her pain. It is all of those experiences that she felt could not be found in her own life and she decided to transform them into a story.
From the start, Alessia was an activist – for women’s rights and against sexual violence.
“I’d always been in love, but I’d never loved,” she explains. “I didn’t want to be with someone who would only love me when I’d give him 10 minutes of pleasure.”
All of her life she has been passionate about women’s rights and she dedicated her life to raising money for her favourite cause: women’s empowerment.
In fact, it was in 2005 that she decided to found ‘The Campaign for the Elimination of Rape’. Alessia founded the movement because, as she explains: “I didn’t want to become a victim of sexual violence. I wanted to change the world.”