Canadian midfielder Julia Grosso loves Juventus in Italy

Canadian midfielder Julia Grosso loves Juventus in Italy

Just 22 years old, Julia Grosso is well settled in Italy.

Since signing with Juventus in December, the Vancouver midfielder has added Serie A, Coppa Italia and Super Coppa titles to her Olympic gold medal haul with Canada.

“I feel like it’s just exciting times — it’s always a lot going on but I love it,” Grosso said of his recent football whirlwind. “It was really cool.”

Grosso and Juve turn their attention to Denmark’s HB Kog in Tuesday’s UEFA Women’s Champions League match.

The second leg takes place on September 28 at Juventus. The winners of the 12 second qualifying round series will join defending champions Lyon and fellow direct participants Barcelona, ​​Chelsea and Wolfsburg in the group stage starting in October.

Juventus reached the quarter-finals of the 2021–22 competition, beating Lyon 4–3 in the second leg quarter-final in March.

Grosso started against the French powerhouse, helping Juve to a 2-1 home win in the first leg that marked just Lyon’s third defeat in 41 Champions League matches (35-3- 3). Canada was among the substitutes for the second leg in France, won 3-1 by Lyon.

Juventus come into Tuesday’s game with Grosso coming off the bench in the 76th minute after a 1-0 league win away to Roma on Friday.

“Probably our biggest rival in the league,” Grosso said of Roma, who finished as runners-up to Juventus last season.

Juve (2-0-1) is currently tied for fourth in women’s Serie A with 3-0-0 records ahead of Fiorentina and Sampdoria.

Soccer isn’t the only thing Grosso enjoys these days. Italian food has also suffered greatly.

“When my parents came to visit they were like, ‘Oh my God, we can’t live here because we’re going to get fat,'” Grosso recalled with a laugh. “At our (training) facility, we have healthy options. But they always have pasta and that’s why I try so hard not to eat it every day, as if to change it. But it’s really hard to have it every day. don’t eat

Grosso was 13 when she made her debut in Canada’s youth program in 2014 under coach Beau Priestman, who is now in charge of the senior team. She represented Canada at the U-15, U-17 and U-20 levels, including at the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan.

Grosso was 17 years old when she scored for Canada in a 3-1 loss against the United States in San Jose on November 12, 2017. She went to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France but did not participate.

Today, Grosso has 43 caps for Canada (including 15 starts) with three goals and three assists, most recently playing in two of Canada’s victories. She made her debut in a 2–1 win at Brisbane on 3 September, partnering Jesse Fleming in deep midfield in the new 4–2–3–1 formation employed by Priestman. .

“It’s very competitive with me and her, we just know how we play,” Grosso said of lining up alongside Fleming. “It was really good. I really like the structure.”

The trip down under gave the team a taste of what to expect at the Women’s World Cup, which starts next July.

Prior to Juventus, Grosso held a four-year position at the University of Texas at Austin.

“I’m really enjoying it,” she said of her time as a Longhorn. Texas is a great school – that team and the coaching staff, it’s a big family.

He also gives a good impression of Austin as a “great place.”

But Texas coach Angela Kelly, a former Canadian international, was the main attraction of the program.

“One of the most important things for me was having a coach who would know about me going out with the national team,” Grosso said.

Grosso made a name for himself after scoring the decisive penalty in Canada’s shootout win over Sweden in the Olympic gold medal game in Yokohama on August 6, 2021. After the game was tied at 1-1 after extra time, Grosso slotted home a spot kick to win the shootout 3-2 after Stephanie Libby saved Jonah Anderson’s spot kick.

Sweden goalkeeper Hedwig Lindahl got a hand to Grosso’s low left-footed shot but was unable to stop it. Grosso, who came on as a substitute, was soon on the receiving end of a celebratory Canadian dog.

Grosso, who says her role in the penalty shootout often comes up when she returns to Canada, recalls how she stopped her job while walking to the penalty area.

“I was so nervous. But when I started going to the ball, it completely went away and I was just so focused,” she said.

She had the Olympic rings tattooed on her face in Italy. “Just kind of a random day,” she said.

England’s Manchester City and Everton, France’s Paris Saint-Germain and Spain’s Real Madrid also showed interest in Grosso before signing for Juventus.

“I’ve been a big fan of this club since I was little,” Grosso said.

He says that wherever the team bus goes, it draws crowds and reactions.

“It seems that people are either avoiding us or loving us. It’s one or the other. But it shows that wherever we go in Italy, everyone here knows football – everyone cares about Juventus. Part of it is .”

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