Risking the wrath of Manchester United supporters was a cross Alex Greenwood was more than willing to bear in pursuit of her ultimate ambition – to keep winning trophies.
The 27-year-old joined Manchester City on a three-year deal from European giants Lyon earlier this month despite having previously worn the captain's armband for the Red Devils.
Angry United fans took to social media to label Greenwood “a snake” and “shameless” after her controversial decision to swap allegiances following her one-year spell in France.
But while the full-back understands where the vitriol has come from, she insists her desire to keep feeding her winning habit meant she never wavered about joining the Citizens - who face Leicester City in the quarter-finals of the Women’s FA Cup this weekend.
“I'm completely aware of the situation,” she said. “I'm not stupid, when it came out, I see it, I understand why people are frustrated, disappointed and absolutely entitled to their opinions.
“That's absolutely fine, it's just football, but for me, it's about my ambitions as a footballer and what I want to achieve. My ambition met this club’s, and that's to be successful.
“I think when I got a taste of winning in Lyon, it's something I just wanted to continue. To be truly honest with you, did it play a part? No, I wouldn't say I questioned my decision.
“But I'm also aware of where I was previously. I gave 100% for that football club and no one can ever take that away from me. But now my focus is Manchester City and being successful here.”
Greenwood skippered United during their inaugural season under Casey Stoney as they won promotion to the Barclays FA Women’s Super League in the 2018/19 season.
She added: “I'm totally aware of everyone's situation in the clubs that they support and love, and I've probably disappointed a lot of fans but for me, it's about my ambition as a player.
“Nothing really stands in my way to achieve what I want to achieve.”
The Liverpudlian, who made her City debut in their 0-0 WSL draw with Brighton, arrived at the Academy Stadium on the back of winning the Champions League with Lyon in August.
She also helped Lyon secure the Trophee des Championnes, Coupe De France and another domestic league title, making it a season Greenwood will not forget in a hurry.
“It was probably the best year of my football career in terms of on the pitch and off the pitch, the way I think I developed as a person as well as a player,” she said.
“I was lucky enough to play with the best players every single day in training and that can only improve you as a player. Then, on the back of that, we won some important trophies.
“We got the Champions League at the end, which was an experience you can't write. Overall, a fantastic experience and I absolutely loved every minute of being over there.”
And Greenwood admits her campaign with the French table-toppers has imbued her with a burning passion to be the best – something she hopes to bring to City this season.
“That winning mentality that you get when you're over there is unbelievable,” she said. “I think even, day to day in training, it's about winning and being the best.
“There's no hiding when it comes to training. I don't think when we were at Lyon we performed to our best at times in games and I think that was for everyone to see.
“But the team found a way to win and it always happens because of their mentality.
“I've took a small part of that with me and I’m hoping I can put that into the changing room I'm in now and install that belief in every game that we play in.”
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