Ellen White: Who is the striker helping Great Britain reach the knockout stage in Tokyo? 

White bagged three goals in Team GB's first two games, including the winner against Japan, and now has her sights set on the knockout stage and chance for a medal.

Picture by 2021 Getty Images

For Ellen White, football is all she has ever known.

From joining the Arsenal academy in 1997 to watching West Ham games with her family, it's always been a part of her life.

After excelling at club level and for England, she's now part of the Great Britain women's squad who have booked a place in the knockout stages at Tokyo 2020.

White has proved herself a striker for the big occasion with her goals firing England to the 2019 World Cup semi-finals.

Three goals in two games against Chile and Japan has her firmly in the mix for top goalscorer, and after Team GB topped the group with a draw against Canada on Tuesday (27 July), she'll be aiming to return to the scoresheet in their quarter-final with Australia on Friday.

But who is the woman behind the goals?

Ellen White at her second Olympic Games

Back in 2012, Ellen White helped lead Team GB at a home Games.

Nine years later, a Great Britain football team - and White - are back after not appearing in Rio.

She joins team-mates Steph Houghton, Jill Scott, and Kim Little in making an Olympic return.

Britain reached the quarter-finals at London 2012 after comfortably making it out of the group stages, but were subsequently knocked out 2-0 by Canada.

A 1-1 draw with the Canadians in Tokyo was enough to secure Team GB top spot in Group E and a quarter-final with Australia.

Ellen White at London 2012
Picture by 2012 Getty Images

What's behind Ellen White's 'goggles' celebration?

If you've seen Ellen White score in the past, you'll have definitely seen her trademark 'goggles' celebration.

What you may not know, however, is that it's inspired by her love of German football.

White is a big fan of Bundesliga side FC Köln and their French forward Anthony Modeste, who coined the celebration during his prolific first spell at the club.

White told Goal.com, "We went to Köln a good few years ago now and Anthony Modeste scored a late winner and that was his celebration.

"My husband was like, 'Why don't you do that one?' So it's kind of for him but I wish I hadn't started it now because everyone expects me to do it!"

Ellen White and Anthony Modeste with their 'goggles' goal celebrations

White is the second highest WSL goal scorer of all time

White's form in front of goal is not limited to international duty.

Currently playing for Manchester City in the Women's Super League, White now sits in second place in the race for all-time top scorer having scored 56 goals in the English league.

The only woman ahead of her is Arsenal's Vivianne Miedema (60) who scored four goals in the Netherlands' 10-3 win over Zambia in their Tokyo 2020 opener.

But for now, that duel takes a back seat to firing their respective countries towards the Olympic podium.

Ellen White scores for Manchester City against West Ham in the WSL on 9 May 2021
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Home is where the Hammers are

Despite playing for Manchester City and occasionally scoring goals against West Ham, White remains an ardent fan of the Hammers.

She idolised tough-tackling men's team left-back Julian Dicks, who was the side's captain as she was growing up, and once got his autograph after watching them train.

“I used to love Upton Park,” she told The Sun, about the former West Ham stadium.

“The atmosphere was incredible, chanting all the songs, we were pretty much hooligans at those West Ham games.

“I feel like in my household, me, my mum, dad, brother and sister we’re very emotional West Ham fans. We love the club so it was kind of ingrained in us.”

Ellen White and her Great Britain team-mates take on Australia on Friday.

You can read more about that, and all other events from the Games, in the official Tokyo 2020 Olympics live blog.

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