Women's Team

City’s Euro stars: Laia Aleixandri

The 2022 Women’s Euros is just seven days away…

The tournament, which is being played across ten English venues from 6-31 July, gets under way when the Lionesses host Austria at Old Trafford next Wednesday.

Seven members of Gareth Taylor’s squad have been selected in Sarina Wiegman’s 23-strong contingent, while another four City stars will be flying the flag for Norway, Sweden and Spain.

And in the latest instalment of our series, it’s new recruit Laia Aleixandri who has the spotlight shone on her career to date.

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Player Profile

Position: Defender
Birthplace: Santa Coloma, Spain
Date of birth: 25 August 2000
Age: 21
Height: 5’ 7” (170cm)

Appearances

International: 10
Senior debut: v Cameroon, 17 May 2019
Senior goals: 2

Honours

Atletico Madrid: Primera Division champions (2017/18, 2018/19)

International: Women’s Under-17 European Championship (2015)

About Laia

A technical centre-half who is equally adept at full-back Aleixandri’s footballing education began in Barcelona’s youth academy, which she joined as a 12-year-old in 2012.

A rapid rise through the ranks followed, and the defender was promoted to the Catalan giants’ B team in 2015, the same year that she helped Spain clinch the Under-17 European Championship.

Two years later, Aleixandri would swap Barcelona for Madrid, moving to Atletico in the summer of 2017.

Her new team would win back-to-back Primera Division titles in her first two seasons at the club, with the young defender a near ever-present in the second of those successes.

On an international level, Laia made her Spain Under-17 debut at the age of just 14, and went on to help her nation to Women’s Under-17 European Championship glory in 2015.

She was also named in the team of the tournament for the Under-19s equivalent of the competition in 2019, two months after making her senior debut against Cameroon in an international friendly.

And the defender would mark that dream occasion in the best possible way, getting her name on the scoresheet in a 4-0 victory.

A composed, ball-playing defender, Aleixandri’s footballing intelligence and vision mean she thrives when initiating play from deep and is comfortable picking up possession in dangerous areas.

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The Spaniard was even named by UEFA as one of the ten most promising young players in Europe alongside her new City teammate Lauren Hemp in 2020.

And over the subsequent two years, she has more than lived up to that burgeoning reputation, and that experience despite her tender years led to plenty of excitement around her summer arrival.

“Even though she is only 21, she has an incredible amount of experience under her belt for both club and country so far,” City boss Gareth Taylor explained when Laia’s move to the Academy Stadium was confirmed.

“It is so exciting to think about what is to come from her in the future.

“She is a player who is hungry to learn and grow, and she will certainly have the opportunity to do that here at City with the team she will have around her.”

After quarter-final exits in 2013 and 2017, Spain enter this summer’s European Championships as one of the pre-tournament favourites.

Laia and her fellow new City recruit Leila Ouahabi will hope to translate that confidence into a reality this July.

Fixtures

Spain v Finland
Friday 8 July, 17:00
Stadium MK, Milton Keynes
BBC Two

Germany v Spain
Tuesday 12 July, 20:00
Brentford Community Stadium
BBC Two

Denmark v Spain
Saturday 16 July, 20:00
Brentford Community Stadium
BBC iPlayer

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