Who is Keira Walsh the world's most expensive women's footballer

Keira Walsh in action in the Euros final against Germany Credit: PA Images

Footballer Keira Walsh has joined FC Barcelona - becoming the world's most expensive women's footballer.

She joins the Spanish giants for £350,000 breaking Chelsea's prior record signing by £100,000.

But who is Keira Walsh and why has she cost Barcelona so much?

Growing up and youth career

Keira Walsh was born and raised in Rochdale. It was here she first played football on the field across her house with her dad.

She played with the boys team at Pearson Juniors under-7s before joining Blackburn Rovers.

The footballer played with Rovers all the way through to under-17s level, even scoring a hat-trick in 13 minutes in the FA Girls' Youth Cup quarter-final.

Walsh in action for City in 2015 Credit: Paul Harding/EMPICS Sport

She attended Haslingden High School and Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School Sixth Form in Rossendale.

Keira supported Manchester City and reportedly had pet fish named after players Shaun Goater and Nicolas Anelka.

In 2008, she was named Rochdale Sports Person of the Year.

Joining Manchester City

Walsh signed for her childhood club after being spotted at a trial by coach Nick Cushing.

Cushing would later say Walsh has "the best football brain" of any player he has coached, adding that "some players are almost touched by God".

In her first year at the club, she was too young to sign a professional contract and trained with the development side.

She won all three domestic cups multiple times with the club, slowly becoming a key player in the side.

Walsh initially trained with the development squad Credit: Richard Sellers/EMPICS Spor

Walsh won the 2016 Women's Super League title, three FA Cups and four League Cups with the club.

In the 2015–16 season, she was nominated for the PFA Women's Players' Player Young Player of the Year award.

In 2019, Walsh scoring the opening goal in the FA Cup final against West Ham.

Over eight years, she made 211 appearances for the club, scoring eight goals.

International career

In 2009, Walsh received her first call-up to train for the England under-15 girls. She was only 12 and was the youngest player in the squad.

She slowly moved her way through the youth ranks, wearing the captain's armband in an under-19s game.

Walsh was called up to the senior squad for the first time in November 2017.

Walsh playing in the SheBelieves Cup in 2018 Credit: PA Images

After the World Cup in 2019, she spoke about consulting sports psychologists after receiving public criticism for her performances.

In the 2022 European Championships, Walsh started every game. She provided the assist for Ella Toone's opening goal in the final against Germany. She was included in the team of the tournament.

A 10-0 win over Luxembourg saw her gain her 50th cap for the Lionesses.

World record fee from Barcelona

While Walsh had submitted transfer requests to leave Manchester City in previous seasons, she remained at the club.

A number of players left City in the summer of 2022 - Lucy Bronze also joined Barcelona, Georgia Stanway moved to Bayern Munich, while Ellen White and Jill Scott retired.

FC Barcelona is one of the biggest clubs in football Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

City rejected some opening bids from Barcelona but accepted a world record fee of around £350,000.

Walsh beats the fee paid for a Pernille Harder who joined Chelsea for £250,000 in September 2020.