Women′s World Cup: Ellen White′s Bundesliga inspiration | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 20.06.2019
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Women's World Cup: Ellen White's Bundesliga inspiration

As Ellen White celebrated the two goals that assured that England would beat Japan to the top of Group D, her celebration caught the eye. It was a tribute to the Bundesliga and one player in particular.

As she wheeled away after dinking home the opener in England's 2-0 win on Wednesday, Ellen White decided the time was right to put her glasses on once again. 

The England and Manchester City forward had scored against the Japanese just as she did in the 2011 tournament. But though this neat finish was less memorable than her wonder goal eight years ago, the way the 30-year-old joined forefinger and thumb in front of her eyes to form spectacles will live long in the memory of those watching in Nice and around the world.

Though Newcastle United men's midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has performed a similar celebration in the Premier League, White's inspiration didn't come from her own shores. It turns out she's a huge fan of German football.

Incredible atmosphere

“Me and my husband took a trip to Cologne because we're really interested in the Bundesliga and the Christmas markets," she explained after she scored in England's opening win against Scotland.“We caught a [Cologne] game and the atmosphere was incredible."

The German outfit's prolific striker Anthony Modeste hit the target in that match and a tribute was born. 

“He happened to score in that game and did that celebration, so my husband said, ‘why don’t you do that?’ I thought: 'why not?"

That White happened to see the French striker score is no great surprise, given his impressive record with the Billy Goats. Modeste, who says his celebration was inspired by his love of emojis, racked up 46 goals in 78 league appearances for the German side before leaving to play in China in 2017. 

After a dispute with his club, the 31-year-old returned to Cologne late last year and notched six goals in just 367 minutes as Cologne made their way back to the top flight at the first attempt. 

Pre World Cup meeting

White first unveiled the celebration when she scored against the USA in the SheBelieves Cup in 2017 but got to hone her craft when she met Modeste at Cologne's training ground shortly before England's current campaign. 

"I'm glad that Ellen does my celebration, especially at a World Cup," said Modeste, who posed for the obligatory photograph with his fellow forward.

White even got to use the celebration a second time as she swept home a late second to seal England's win before her father Jon went on BBC radio station 5 Live to confirm that Modeste was her "favorite player".

There will be more than a few people who would now award White that same accolade. England fans will be desperate to see more of her celebration when the knockouts start this weekend.

Watch video 03:17

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