Awash with the striking colours of red, white and blue, the Union Jack is a symbol of unity.

Celebrating the kingdoms of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the flag combines the crosses of St George, St Andrew and St Patrick.

Naturally, the distinctive trio of colours adorn the official badge of our British athletes at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, intertwining in the form of a lion.

Bestowed upon them the great honour of writing their name in history as Olympians, there stand an astonishing 12 City players ready to compete in Tokyo, including ten within the Team Great Britain squad - most of whom are made up of members of England's Lionesses... but not all.

Given her status as one of the most technically gifted, passionate and spellbinding magic makers in the game, Caroline Weir's inclusion as one of just three non-English stars in the squad sparked little surprise in anyone.

And it is fitting that against the bold blue background, her own national flag should bear a bright saltire cross, for the twinkle-toed midfield maestro has 'the X Factor' in spades.

Born in Dunfermline, the 26-year-old has carved a name for herself as one of the most exciting attacking talents in the game.

The two-time Scotland Player of the Year began her fledgling football career with local boys team Elgin Star FC before joining Hibernian, where her creative flair caught the eye of English heavyweights Arsenal. The Gunners secured the teenager's signature and she embarked on a new and fruitful career south of the border.

Having helped the North London outfit to 2014 Women's FA Cup success, she then headed further south for a spell with Bristol Academy but returned north to join Liverpool in 2016. Such was her impact in Merseyside, she scooped the Club's Player of the Season award in her debut season, attracting the attention of Nick Cushing's City.

In 2018, she travelled along the M62 to make the switch from red to blue, penning a two-year-deal at the Academy Stadium and quickly became a fans' favourite - her silky skills and outstanding ability to score spectacular goals from distance both particularly admirable traits, along with her sunny personality.

Pulling the strings in the heart of midfield, Weir orchestrates some of City's best attacking moves, earning a reputation as as a mercurial weaver of magic. Delighting fans, pundits and peers alike, she boasts the enchanting ability to conjure the most breathtaking moments of brilliance - moments that no-one else could craft, no matter how hard they tried; moments that are forever etched in history.

Though exceptionally talented, Weir is not motivated by personal acclaim. In fact, conversations of her history-making accomplishments are often greeted with embarrassment - her humble nature off the pitch in stark contrast to her confidence and comfort when gracing the green. She is most at ease with the ball at her feet and thankfully, is unafraid to showcase her awesome armoury on the big stage.

She is perhaps most famed for two goals that will live long in the memory of all who bore witness - two goals that thrust women's football into the spotlight, proving to the those who needed convincing that there are no limits to what female footballers can do.

While she was already well-known for her precise aim and unerring accuracy from range, Weir excelled herself on the opening day of the 2019/20 FA Women's Super League season on what was a landmark day for the English game. In celebration of the new campaign, Matchday One bore some of the most exciting fixtures in the calendar with some to be contested in men's stadiums for maximum impact.

City's first assignment: a first ever professional women's Manchester Derby - at the home of the Premier League Champions, no less. A record crowd of 31,000 packed into the Etihad Stadium to bear witness to this historic milestone - and Weir ensured the blue half of the city would return home with smiling faces.

The second half was just three minutes old when she picked up a loose ball 25 yards out and unleashed a bullet past Mary Earps and into the top corner. It was a goal of real quality - a deserved matchwinner to send the City fans into raptures and ignite our new season, and the perfect strike to mark the first ever goal in a Manchester Derby.

That stunning strike would deservedly earn a nomination for the Puskas Award but Weir arguably topped her rocket the next time City hosted our cross-town rivals the following season at the Academy Stadium.

Gareth Taylor's side were cruising to victory in the sixth Manchester Derby, thanks to goals from Lucy Bronze and Lauren Hemp, but Weir added the most delicious icing to the cake with a sumptuous chip. Collecting the ball on the edge of the box with her back to goal, the midfield magician rolled the ball goalward with a lovely backheel before taking a touch to compose herself. Then, glancing up and spotting Earps off her line, she planted an exquisite lob over the goalkeeper and into the far corner to seal the win in the most glorious fashion.

It was a goal that would have raised eyebrows in any fixture - never mind a Manchester Derby, live on television. The coolness and composure Weir radiated in that moment belied the magnitude of the occasion - and it was a must-win game for Taylor's City - but the flawless execution somehow served to amplify it to new heights. The goal was broadcast around the world and shared throughout the social media world - more positive comments pouring in but not just for Weir, not just for City; for women's football. It was another special moment - the only blemish: that supporters were sadly not able to witness it in person.

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During her three years in Manchester, Weir has played a key role in three cup successes with City but the 2018 Continental Cup Final Player of the Match has enjoyed plenty of joy on the international stage too.

Having progressed through the Scotland ranks and captained the side that qualified for the UEFA Women's Under-19 Championships, she made her debut for the senior squad in 2013 and has become an integral piece of their jigsaw. Since then, she has won almost 80 caps for her country and has scored 13 goals, including a strike she had waited her whole life for.

A key part of the Scotland squad who had earned a first qualification to the World Cup, Weir and co. entertained Jamaica (starring new City recruit Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw) in a friendly in preparation for the eagerly-awaited tournament in France. The venue: Hampden Park - Scotland's iconic national stadium and the place Weir had always dreamed of scoring. In 2002, she had watched her idol Zinedine Zidane smash a superb volley into the top corner in the Champions League Final and while her free-kick was not *quite* as spectacular, it sailed into the very same goal and the midfielder was able to achieve her ambition of knee-sliding in celebration on the hallowed turf.

Under Taylor's stewardship, Weir has taken her game to a new level. Occupying a more advanced role, she bolstered her goal contribution ratio in the 2020/21 campaign - challenged to chip in with more goals in and around the box, in addition to her long-range attempts and assists. Nine of her 24 City strikes were netted last season, and it was no coincidence that her side's form also improved as she began to shine.

It was not long before calls for Olympic selection were mooted. Though always in the back of her mind, Weir opted to let her football do the talking by continuing to deliver consistent performances and rightfully, her wish was granted. While she may be one of only three non-English players selected, alongside compatriot Kim Little and Wales' Sophie Ingle, her inclusion was never in doubt.

Having proven she can hit her targets (both metaphorically and physically), there are no limits to what Weir can accomplish... and ''Weir' excited to find out!

By Caroline Oatway

I've always known I was better going forward in the final third - that's where I like to be: between the lines, in the pockets. That's where to get the best out of me. Playing consistently, I've been seeing a lot more of the ball further forward. Gaz came in with tactical changes and I'm playing higher up, having more and more of an impact in the game with goals and assists.
Caroline Weir