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Men's Majestic New York Yankees #13 Alex Rodriguez Replica Grey Road MLB Jersey A shaft of sunlight highlights a minor chip in the otherwise immaculate bright red polish adorning Toni Duggan’s fingernails. It is a high maintenance colour but Barcelona’s new attacking addition is simply not the type of woman to opt for understated neutrals: taupes, beiges and nudes represent the antithesis of one of the game’s most vibrant personalities. As she relaxes on a terrace after training at England’s Euro 2017 Utrecht base, Duggan’s strong Merseyside accent and sharp Scouse wit enliven an atmosphere already buoyant following the Lionesses’ 6-0 win over Scotland in their opening Group D game. The 25-year-old former Manchester City striker came off the bench to score the sixth goal and could not be happier with her contribution. 12th Fan Authentic Jersey “It was a big relief to get off the mark,” she says. “In the past few months I’ve been hitting the bar and the post, so to score early here is good for my confidence.” After becoming the first English footballer to move to Barcelona since Gary Lineker 31 years ago, Duggan knows the eyes of Europe are suddenly trained on her. That pressure will become even more intense when Mark Sampson’s side face Spain in Breda on Sunday night. Considering Spain’s squad contain 10 Barça players it could be a slightly strange evening for Duggan but, typically, she is approaching the game with humour. “I’m only just starting to learn the language. I’m not too bad at reading but I’ve got a bit of a confidence problem with speaking, with going from Scouse to Spanish. At the moment I can just about say hello and goodbye, that’s about it. I can’t even say ‘pass me the ball’ or things like that yet – maybe they’re the ones I should be learning before Sunday!” Such linguistic dilemmas are the focus for a quick, strong forward able to operate on both wings, who has long prided herself on being one of Sampson’s best and most colourfully, groomed Lionesses. “We have a lot of free time and learning Spanish is a nice way to switch off. I’m using Duolingo [a language learning app] but I’m sure that, when I get over there, I’ll start to really pick it up.” For the moment though Duggan is compartmentalising the moment next month when she relocates to Catalonia. Right now attempting to win the European Championship dominates her horizon. “I’m not thinking about showing my new Barcelona team-mates what I can do on Sunday,” Adam Oates Authentic Jersey she says. “That time will come but I’m not going out there in Breda to prove a point, I’m there to help England win the gold medal. It’s irrelevant to me whether I’m playing against future colleagues. At the moment, only England matters to me.” Even so, it is sometimes difficult to prevent the future from intruding. “I’ve had a couple of messages from the Spanish girls, the Barcelona players, which was nice. I heard from the captain [Marta Torrejón] and also from Vicky Losada who used to play in England [for Arsenal]. They wished me the best, except when we play against Spain, and I said vice versa. “The respect was nice but, come Sunday, I’ll have my England head on and it’ll be all about helping the team and forgetting about the opposition. They have quality players and it’ll be tough but, hopefully, we can smash Spain.” hould they do so, Duggan may treat her fellow Lionesses to a repetition of the morris dance she entertained them with when England beat Germany in the third-place play-off at the last World Cup in Canada. Regular morris dancing was part of her childhood – along with playing junior boys football and frequent pilgrimages to Anfield. If the switch to the Camp Nou is primarily about a desire to win the Champions League after capturing the 2016 Women’s Super League title with City, it will also make Duggan a club-mate of a former Liverpool hero. “Luis Suárez’s always been a great role model for me,” she says. “His style of play is sometimes like he’s playing with his mates in the street. I like that, hopefully I can bring it to Barcelona’s women’s team.”

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