FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™

7 June - 7 July

FIFA Women's World Cup

White's clear vision for a successful France 2019

© Getty Images
  • Ellen White explains the origin of her patented goggles celebration
  • She discusses the sacrifices her parents made for her
  • White wishes Scotland “all the luck in the world”

By Laure James with England

From her obsession with German football - which led to her patented celebration - to crediting her family with her success, Ellen White has never been short of inspiration. The England forward, who is known for her impressive work-rate and predatory instincts, rewarded Phil Neville’s faith in handing her a start against Scotland by scoring in a 2-1 victory in Nice on Sunday.

White helped to lead the line confidently, having been selected ahead of Jodie Taylor, who won the Golden Boot at UEFA Women's EURO 2017. Yet the 30-year-old, who recently joined Manchester City, insists she has no desire to pursue individual honours at this FIFA Women’s World Cup™.

“I haven’t got any goals set for this tournament,” White told FIFA. “For me it’s about if I can contribute to the team in any way, whether that’s on the pitch or off the pitch. That’s my sole focus. I'm not focusing on any individual goals for myself – it’s about the team.”

That may be the case, but White’s goal - which put England 2-0 up - ultimately proved the winner due to Claire Emslie pulling one back for Scotland in the second half.

"I was delighted to get on the score-sheet and contribute to the team winning,” she said. “It was a tough game, Scotland played really well and from us, we want to wish them all the luck in the world with the next two games in the group. We really hope they do well.”

For White, if the goals come out, the ‘goggles’ come out. But from where did that curious celebration originate? A city break to Cologne for White and her husband, Calum, included a trip to a Bundesliga game. When Anthony Modeste did the same gesture, White took her cue.

“My husband said, ‘Why don’t you do that?’, so it’s mainly for him, really,” she explained. “But I’ve started something that I can’t really stop now. We just love German football, we went over there on a break and loved the atmosphere.”

White is being cheered on in France by her family, who have supported her blossoming football career from a very early age.

“When I was five years old I was part of a mini-soccer centre which my dad set up, called Mini Ducks,” White recalled. “Basically there was no girls’ team in the area so I used to play with all the boys and my brother in the back garden.

“My mum and dad sacrificed a lot to travel around the country and throughout the world to support me. They used to take a lot of their own time to take me to training and have always shown me a lot of love. I am really happy they’re out here supporting me, and enjoying the tournament as well.”

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