Spanish football giants Barcelona have today confirmed the signing of England striker Toni Duggan on a two-year contract in one of the highest-profile transfers the women’s game has ever seen.
The 25-year-old joins Barcelona from Manchester City where she has played a key role for the Blues over four seasons – winning the Women’s Super League, FA Cup and Continental Tyres Cup.
Duggan is the first English player to join the Catalan team since Gary Lineker joined from Everton in 1986. She will become the only member of the current England women’s senior squad playing abroad.
The England forward is currently in Valencia training with her national team colleagues as they prepare for Euro 2017 in the Netherlands later this month. She was a key part of the successful England side that finished third in the FIFA 2015 World Cup in Canada.
Barcelona unveiled their new signing today (Thursday) by heralding Duggan in the official club statement as a player with “great technique…powerful…two-footed…and can play in any position.”
Duggan said: “FC Barcelona are known all over the world for playing attractive football and I naturally wanted to be part of that. I think my style of play will suit the team and I’m honoured to be part of the club.
“My new coach Fran Sanchez has told me that their ambition is to win the Women’s Champions League and the club have made that very clear with their signings over the years. I want to help my team mates to achieve that ambition.
“I’ve had a lot of success in England and I’ve really enjoyed my time with Manchester City but I wanted to challenge myself even further by playing abroad. Barcelona are one of the world’s biggest clubs and I’ve totally bought into their philosophy. I’m also looking forward to learning Spanish and living in the city.”
To date, Duggan has made 47 appearances for England scoring 15 goals. This summer will see her take part in her third senior international tournament. She scored 20 goals in 38 games at England youth level, winning the UEFA U19 Championship in 2009.
At domestic level, she made 74 appearances in under four years for Manchester City, scoring 31 goals which led to numerous club accolades including club top scorer and goal of the season awards.
The Nike UK athlete is an ambassador for the Kick It Out campaign group and a women’s football ambassador for Rylands FC, a FA Charter Standard Community Club based in Warrington - near to her home town of Liverpool.
The Barcelona and England striker is the most-followed England women’s player on social media and she is managed by Wayne Rooney’s management team, the Triple S Sports & Entertainment Group.
Triple S Managing Director, Paul Stretford added “We’re absolutely delighted for Toni to complete her dream move to FC Barcelona. She has worked hard throughout her career, achieved everything domestically with Manchester City and now continues to challenge herself with a move abroad. We’re all really proud of her. This is a groundbreaking transfer for the women’s game and I’d like to thank Calum Anderson for all his hard work putting it together. We can’t wait to watch Toni in the famous Barca colours.”
Notes to picture editors: Exclusive pictures and video of Toni Duggan in Barcelona available
Notes to editors: Duggan joins Barcelona with immediate effect, all fees undisclosed
Media contact: Mark Whittle for Triple S Communications on 07908 617 226