England women's striker Ellen White (l.) has revealed that Cologne forward Anthony Modeste (r.) is the inspiration behind her unusual goal celebration. - © Getty
England women's striker Ellen White (l.) has revealed that Cologne forward Anthony Modeste (r.) is the inspiration behind her unusual goal celebration. - © Getty
bundesliga

England Women's World Cup star Ellen White: "I love the Bundesliga!"

If Ellen White's goal celebration for England at the FIFA Women's World Cup on Sunday looked familiar to Bundesliga followers it was no coincidence: the Three Lionesses star is a big fan of the German top flight and Cologne striker Anthony Modeste.

With England 1-0 up in their opening fixture against Scotland in Nice, White put the ball in the net in the 23rd minute and wheeled away in celebration, putting her hands over her eyes in a 'spectacles' gesture made famous by Modeste.

Although that particular effort was ruled out for offside by VAR, she was able to give the celebration another airing just before half-time with a cool finish from inside the box to put her side 2-0 up in a match they would eventually win 2-1.

Asked about the unusual pose at the final whistle, the 30-year-old had a simple explanation. "I like watching the Bundesliga," she told Goal.com. "I support Cologne and striker Anthony Modeste, that’s his celebration. My husband was like, why don’t you do that? But I’ve started something I can’t really stop now!"

The celebration became a Modeste trademark during his first spell at Cologne, when he hit 40 league goals in 68 matches between 2015 and 2017. - imago/DeFodi

The White household's affection for the Billy Goats does not end there, however. They are regular visitors to Germany and travelled to Cologne in May to celebrate with the team after they secured promotion back to the Bundesliga, paying the players a visit at training and even securing a prized selfie with Modeste himself.

"We just love German football and went over there on a break and loved the atmosphere and the football," said White, who now turns her focus to England's next group games against Argentina and Japan as they look to reach the knockout rounds.