Alex Greenwood Jun 1

Alex Greenwood: "I'm excited where the women's game is going – but there's still more to be done"

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Alex Greenwood Jun 1
  • Alex Greenwood was one of a number of professional footballers who attended last month's Women's Player Summit

  • The Women's Player Summit enables FIFPRO to get direct feedback from players on issues that affect their industry

  • "It's an important event because we speak about topics that maybe you're uncomfortable to speak about, " says the Manchester City and England defender

While last month's Women’s Player Summit in Bilbao was the third hosted by FIFPRO, it was the first that Manchester City and England defender Alex Greenwood attended.

The Women's Player Summit provides an opportunity to get direct feedback from players on issues that affect their industry, as well as sharing best practice and discussing strategic opportunities to work collaboratively towards the future of the women's game.

"I'm a little bit uneducated on certain topics that happen, and for me personally, to be able to fight or challenge more for certain things, I need more education on what is going on," said Greenwood, speaking to FIFPRO. "That was one of the biggest reasons for me to come here, other than being passionate about improving the game and being a voice for change."

Since her career began in 2010 with Everton, Greenwood’s footballing journey has taken her to the very top of the women’s game, savouring success with current club Manchester City, winning the UEFA EURO with the England national team, not to mention winning the Champions League with former club Olympique Lyonnais.

While Greenwood has witnessed first-hand the growth of women’s football in the likes of England and France, the Women’s Player Summit served as a reminder of the differing levels of professionalisation pathways across Europe.

Players from multiple leagues shared experiences and insight on their situations in women’s domestic football before engaging in constructive workshops centred on how to elevate standards.

"It's an important event because we speak about topics that maybe you're uncomfortable to speak about in different situations and it opens conversations that don't happen often enough in my opinion," said Greenwood.

"Conversations here bring me back to reality as a different country is only just reaching where we were 10 years ago. So, as much as I am excited for where the women's game is going, there's still so much work to be done.

"For me, it’s the huge scale of differences in terms of player contracts, player welfare, support around injury. I class myself as fortunate in all those departments, so being here opens my eyes up to those different support levels in certain places. It's just not good enough still."

Alex Greenwood Rikkejpg
Alex Greenwood speaks at the Women's Player Summit
Player Summit 1
Player Summit

Central to the Women’s Player Summit is the player voice. Footballers across Europe and beyond provide invaluable insight to FIFPRO and its member unions, who in turn strive to improve their working conditions as players. "If we speak about the calendar, if we speak about injury, if we speak about player welfare conditions and environments, we're the ones living it every day and the voice that we have can be powerful for positive change.

"Everyone's experiences and opinions will be so different, which is the reason we have to be open-minded and engage in those difficult conversations."

Of the varying industry topics that were discussed at the Women’s Player Summit, preparing for life after football was one that caught Greenwood’s attention. "You get to a certain point in your career where you start to think about that," said the 30-year-old.

"Personally, I'm fortunate enough that I have a lot of support in that area, but I think the support needs to come much sooner; you shouldn't be hitting 28 or 30 and only then [start] thinking about life after football.

"Can you prepare for that much sooner? Because an identity is lost when you stop playing football and it's quite daunting."

The Women's Player Summit was held a day after Raising Our Game Europe 2025, also known as ROGE25, an initiative from FIFPRO Europe designed to develop tools and resources to support player associations with promoting equal opportunities, access, and inclusion for women’s players.