Her transfer to Barcelona is the most expensive ever in women's soccer
Barça didn’t only splash out on their men’s team this summer. They also set a new world transfer record in women’s soccer when they bought Keira Walsh.
Midfielder Walsh, one of the stars of England’s Euro 2022 triumph, joined the Catalan giants from Manchester City for a fee of €400,000.
The previous record transfer in the women’s game was Chelsea’s 2020 signing of Pernille Harder, who cost the West London club €350,000.
For Harder, it’s no problem at all that she’s no longer the most expensive player: “I think it’s good for women’s football to get the money rolling."
Walsh isn’t the only English player who joined Barça this summer: international colleague Lucy Bronze also left City for Catalonia.
According to Hello! Magazine, Bronze and Walsh have been dating since 2016.
The pair haven’t confirmed their relationship, but they can be seen out and about together in numerous photos that they’ve posted on social media.
In August, Bronze hit out at Walsh’s omission from the Ballon d'Or nominees, declaring: “She should be the first English name on the list.”
The right-back added: “The best Lionesses player all year and during the Euros was Keira Walsh.”
The absence of the summer tournament's most influential midfielder has certainly thrown doubt on the Ballon d’Or selection process.
The Player of the Match in the final of the Euros, Walsh made her England debut in 2017, establishing herself as an effective successor to Fara Williams.
Walsh’s addition to the Barça midfield has been made all the more important by Jenni Hermoso’s move to Mexico and Alexia Putellas’ serious injury.
Barcelona have long been a reference point for Walsh: “My dad's always made me watch Sergio Busquets, and Yaya Touré when he was at Barça.”
Indeed, Walsh has been influenced by Spain as a whole. She has family in the country, and would get involved in games of soccer during childhood visits.
She has also drawn inspiration from watching YouTube videos of Pep Guardiola during his legendary career in the Barça midfield.
After signing five players this summer, Barça have high hopes of reclaiming the Women’s Champions League title, after losing last term’s final to Lyon.