Former Manchester United captain Alex Greenwood says her decision to join rivals Manchester City from Champions League-winners Lyon has sparked a backlash on social media.
Given she played for both Merseyside clubs in her career — joining Everton’s senior team in 2010 and Liverpool in 2016 — she knows what she’s in for when it comes to fans angry to see her joining a rival.
The 27-year-old defender captained United to the FA Women’s Championship crown in 2019 before moving to France.
She decided to return home after being part of the Lyon side that lifted the Champions League trophy in August.
“I think I’ve come back to England at a perfect time,” Greenwood told Sky Sports. “The league’s going from strength to strength. The players who are coning over speaks for itself and I’m really excited to be a part of it.
“For me it’s about winning trophies. [Manchester City’s] ambitions and my ambitions went hand in hand.
“I’m realistic, I know that we’ve got a few new faces, but this club’s about winning and the history speaks for itself.
“Domestically they’ve won trophies every single season and I’m coming in to continue that, and hopefully that starts this season.”
However, Greenwood has been called all sorts of names after joining City.
She believes the response shows the environment surrounding men’s football is spreading into the women’s game.
“For sure I think it’s heading in that direction,” she told NewsChain.uk. “I think it’s part of that rivalry between clubs. That’s what it’s all about. When you wake up on a derby day it’s about the pride of the club that you play for.
“It’s no different in the women’s game, I think the fans will take that for the league and show that’s what it’s about. I think it’s brilliant. I think the rivalry is important, and I think the bigger fan bases get the more that improves.”
Greenwood understands why certain fans have reacted the way they have, adding: “I’m completely aware of the situation. I’m not stupid, I think, yesterday when it came out, and I see it, I understand why people are frustrated, disappointed and absolutely entitled to their opinions, of course. That’s absolutely fine, it’s just football, but for me, it’s about my ambitions as a footballer and what I want to achieve.
“My ambition met this club’s, and that’s to be successful. I think when I got a taste of winning in Lyon, it’s something I just wanted to continue. To be truly honest with you, did it [United] play a part [in my decision to sign for City]? No, I wouldn’t say I questioned my decision, but I’m also aware of where I was previously.
“I gave 100% for that football club and no one can ever take that away from me. But now my focus is Manchester City and being successful here.”
I would be lying if I said I wish Greenwood the best at City, but she’s entitled to do what she thinks is best for her career. That doesn’t mean United fans can think differently of her. They can and should.