‘That hurt’ – Man Utd star Ella Toone reveals how Arsenal fans broke her heart by changing lyrics to iconic Alessia Russo chant during WSL clash

England star Ella Toone has revealed how she felt when she heard Arsenal’s revised lyrics of the chant for her and best friend, Alessia Russo.

During the Lionesses’ triumphant European Championship campaign in 2022, the fans’ song for Toone and Russo, sang to the tune of Rockin’ All Over the World by Status Quo, became incredibly popular. It would be heard at Manchester United games during the 2022-23 season too, as the England pair helped the club sustain an unlikely title challenge to the final day, and throughout the 2023 World Cup in Australia.

Alessia Russo Arsenal Women 2023-24

However, Russo departed Man Utd last summer and joined Women’s Super League rivals Arsenal, so Gunners fans acted quickly to adopt their own version of the song, replacing Toone with Lotte Wubben-Moy, the England defender, in the lyrics.

Speaking on the Saving Grace podcast this week, Toone was asked for the worst thing someone has shouted at her during a game. After first recalling some fans telling her she was “rubbish” at the World Cup, the England star then described Arsenal’s new song as the one that “got” her.

“There was a chant and it was, ‘Tooney and Lessi Russo‘, that was our chant,” she explained. “People were chanting it through the Euros, at United, the World Cup and anyway, Less left to Arsenal and then when we played Arsenal, they were chanting, ‘Lotte and Lessi Russo’, and it wasn’t me. They changed my name out. That hurt.”

Asked later in the show how difficult it was when her best friend left for the London club, Toone added: “It was really sad but that’s football, people move on and stuff. We text every single day, we FaceTime a lot and then when I come to London, I get to see her, which is nice.”

Toone and Russo have been best friends since meeting in the England youth teams at Under-15 level. The pair progressed through the Lionesses’ set-up together before enjoying their breakthroughs with the senior team at the same time, most notably as super subs during Euro 2022 to help their country win a first major tournament on the women’s side.

Ella Toone Alessia Russo England Women 2022

Though now separated at club level, the pair are back together at the moment as England kick-off their qualifying campaign for the 2025 Euros. The Lionesses face Sweden at Wembley on April 5 before making the short journey to Dublin to take on Ireland four days later.

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