Keira Walsh, a professional football player for Barcelona, has described her decision to leave Manchester City for the Spanish club as an opportunity to step out of her comfort zone and develop her playing style. Speaking to ESPN, Walsh admitted the lure of the Champions League challenge meant it was an easy decision to make when Barcelona approached her after England’s Euro 2022 success. Although she acknowledged the pressure of playing for Barcelona, Walsh praised the quality of the club’s midfielders and the opportunities to learn from and play with them.
Barcelona’s incredible form this season has put them 10 points clear in Liga F , prompting questions about whether they are in cruise control. Walsh dismissed this idea, saying the dedication she saw from other players ensured everyone was focused on improving their performance. Among the factors that influenced Walsh’s decision to switch to Barcelona was City’s failure to qualify for the Champions League. She has praised the coaching staff at both clubs for encouraging tactical awareness and adaptability.
Walsh and teammate Lucy Bronze, who also played for Manchester City, won the European Championships for England in 2022. After the games, Walsh watched as Bronze left for Barcelona and Georgia Stanway signed for Bayern Munich. Walsh said the decision to move was difficult, given her emotional attachment to Manchester City, but the chance to play for a prestigious club such as Barcelona was too good to miss. This step up is an opportunity to bring her game to a new level, she added.
Walsh has already played twice against Barcelona’s historic rivals, Real Madrid, this season. Although Barca won both games, Walsh said the matches were intense and pre-game nerves were palpable. Looking to the future, she said the drive to improve and win more trophies was what she wanted to be part of. Ultimately, Walsh believes that stepping outside her comfort zone has enabled her to develop as a player and adapt to different playing styles, mirroring the sort of tactical and positional tweaks expected by her coaches.