Ellen White: What does England striker's Women's World Cup celebration mean?

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The Manchester City ace has scored five times in France and her unusual manner of marking goals has been the subject of much discussion

After tapping home England’s second goal in their 3-0 World Cup quarter-final victory over Norway, striker Ellen White celebrated in familiar style.

Once the ball hit the net, she lifted her fingers up to her eyes as if to make spectacles around them.

It has become a familiar sight for fans of the Lionesses, with White netting five times in France as Phil Neville’s side have charged into the semi-finals of the competition, where they face a meeting with the winners of France’s clash with the USA on July 2 in Lyon.

The unusual nature of White’s celebration, along with the frequency that fans have seen it, has caused a good deal of discussion, though the Manchester City striker has not been shy about hiding why she does it.

Speaking to City TV earlier this month, she explained: “Me and my husband are big fans of the Bundesliga. We went to Koln a good few years ago now and Anthony Modeste, who plays for them, scored a late winner, and that was his celebration. My husband said: ‘Why don’t you do that one?’

“So it’s kind of for him but I kind of wish I hadn’t started it now because everyone expects me to do it. But it’s cool. My little nieces like doing it and I get a lot of people doing it to me. So it’s fun.”

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White, who has previously turned out for both Arsenal and Chelsea, is now England’s record scorer at World Cups, having netted six times in the finals of the competition. 

The 30-year-old first found the net in the 2011 competition as England defeated Japan 2-0 in Germany but had to wait until the opening match of the Lionesses’ 2019 tournament to get her next, grabbing the winner in a 2-1 success over Scotland. She has since struck versus Japan (twice) and Cameroon before registering against Norway.

White is currently joint top scorer in France along with the USA’s Alex Morgan, who scored all of her five goals in a 13-0 win over Thailand, and Sam Kerr of Australia, who got four against Jamaica in her side’s final group stage match.

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