England striker Toni Duggan has signed for Barcelona from Manchester City Women on a two-year contract.
The 25-year-old former Everton Ladies forward is the first English player to join the Catalan club since Gary Lineker’s move to the Nou Camp in 1986.
Duggan has scored 15 goals in 47 senior appearances for England and is part of their squad for Women’s Euro 2017.
She departs for an undisclosed fee, having been with City since arriving from Everton in November 2013.
Duggan helped City win the Women’s Super League One title for the first time in 2016 and was part of the squad that won this year’s Women’s FA Cup.
She was also part of the England side that finished third in the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada.
“FC Barcelona are known all over the world for playing attractive football and I naturally wanted to be part of that,” Duggan said. “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’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. I’m also looking forward to learning Spanish and living in the city.”
Barcelona Femeni on the rise?
Like City, Barcelona reached the Women’s Champions League semi-finals for the first time in their history in 2016-17, and finished second in the Spanish top flight last term.
They have increased their investment in women’s football markedly in recent years, re-signing Spain midfielder Vicky Losada from Arsenal in November.
Barcelona are in talks with the American National Women’s Soccer League about entering a team for 2018, having opened a permanent office in New York in September.
The NWSL has never previously included a European side but is fully professional, in contrast to the Spanish top tier, which includes some semi-professional sides.
Duggan scored four goals in four league appearances in the 2017 Spring Series and a fine individual goal in the Women’s Champions League.
The Liverpool-born striker will become the only member of the current England Women squad to be based abroad.
Source: BBC SPORTS