Ella Toone Carries England Hopes To The 2023 World Cup

Photo Credit: AP

Manchester United forward Ella Toone played a masisve role in England Women winning Euro 2022. The 23-year-old was part of the Euro England squad that secured the major title at Wembley.

It was a life-changing moment for the youngster. A staring role in the biggest football news in England since 1966. Accordingly, Toone is now well set to become an integral part of the Lionesses squad as they build towards the next big challenge.

Toone Shines In England Euros Win

England’s Euro win came in a dramatic day in London on July 31st, 2022. There at Wembley in the Euro 2022 final, they squared off against Germany. All finals are tense affairs and the England vs Germany match was certainly no different.

As the game dragged into the second half of the match goalless, the Wembley crowd was finally brought to its feet. A 62nd-minute strike from Ella Toone set the stadium rocking.

Toone had made a great run from her own half, ghosting between a couple of German defenders. Breaking clear of the defence, she only had the approaching goalkeeper Merle Frohms to beat. Showing maturity and class, Toone did just that in style.

With a deft touch, Toone lobbed Frohms, peeling away in celebration before the ball had hit the back of the net.

Super Subs Win It For The Lionesses

For the kick-off of the Euro 2022 Final, Ella Toone had been on the bench. However, head coach Sarina Weigman, known for making bold moves when things need changing up, introduced Toone in the 55th minute of the match. England Women, seeking their first piece of major silverware certainly needed to shake the game up.

Toone’s intervention to break the stalemate of the Euro 2022 Final was rapid. She netted just seven minutes after being introduced.

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England supporters celebrate after Ella Toone scored the opening goal as they gather in the fan zone in Trafalgar Square to watch on a big screen the final of the Women’s Euro 2022 soccer match between England and Germany being played at Wembley stadium in London, Sunday, July 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Toone was part of a double substitution, coming on with another young stars Alessia Russo. They replaced Frank Kirby and Ellen White who had been largely ineffective.

England’s lead lasted until the 79th minute when Lina Magull produced an equaliser for Germany Women. The match went to extra time before eventually being settled by another of England’s substitutes.

It was another sub, Chloe Kelly, who netted the decisive goal of the match. That was in the 110th minute, Kelly showing physical strength to poke the ball home following a corner kick.

In a simliar fashion, the 87,000-plus crowd at Wembley exploded into noise as the Chloe Kelly celebration became one of the most iconic moments of elation in English football.

Fame Follows For Ella Toone And Lionesses

Part of the hope after the Euro 2022 success for the Lionesses was to inspire the next generation. Suddenly the England Euro squad were household names. Names like Lauren Hemp, Georgia Stanway, Leah Williamson, Beth Mead and Alessia Russo were on everyone’s lips as England’s Euros campaign ended in triumph.

Subsequently the paparazzi were following the players, capturing pictures of them in their private lives, to a degree that had never happened before.

Toone was only 22 years old when she collected her Euro 2022 winners medal. The new levels of fame and attention that were heaped upon her, went far beyond what it was from her burgeoning Women’s Super League career with Manchester United.

“I can’t walk down the street anymore without someone recognising me and wanting a picture but it’s nice. It’s nice to see how much support we had over the summer and how many people are now engaged in watching women’s football,” Toone stated.

Inspiration For A New Generation

But unquestionably the England Women were projected into the spotlight as role models. The Women in Sporty charity reported in September 2022 that there had been a major upswing in the aspirations of young ‘sporty’ girls. Seeing England Women lift the Euro 2022 title pushed dreams of reaching the top even higher.

The push to close the gender gap to give girls more opportunities to play sports continues. The report noted that 17% more girls said that despite loving sport, they lacked those opportunities to take part. England’s Euro success gave young players a definitive platform of belief that women can indeed make it.

The dreams by girls and young women, will have suddenly felt a lot more tangible. They will have become more real as the nation celebrated a major women’s sporting success. It was a world away from watching the male-dominated Premier League or UEFA Champions League and wondering how.

The Lift Off For Ella Toone

The professional breakthrough in terms of playing time for Ella Tooney came when Manchester City made the move for her in 2016. Having spent her youth career at rivals Manchester United, Toone was handed her City debut in the summer of 2016.

A move back to Manchester United happened for Toone in July 2018. That was the same year that she had been nominated for the FA Women’s Young Player of the Year award. Toone became part of the Manchester United Women set up that would enter its first season in the FA Women’s Championship.

Then the following season, it was the Women’s Super League. Toone has remained with Manchester United and last year put pen to paper on a contract extension with the club. The England international is now under contract with Manchester United until the summer of 2025.

Senior England Call Up

Toone’s rapid development had seen her make her way through the youth levels of the England Women set-up. As an England youth player, she gained some huge early experience in international tournaments.

She participated in the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, the 2017 UEFA Women’s U19 Championship and was named in the 2019 England squad for the FIFA Women’s U20 World Cup. Toone ultimately had to miss the latter because of an injury.

In 2020 Toone was called up to the England Women Senior squad for the first time. That was, interestingly, the same time as her Manchester United teammate Millie Turner received her first call-up.

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England’s Ella Toone celebrates after the Women Euro 2022 semi final soccer match between England and Sweden at the Bramall Lane Stadium in Sheffield, England, Tuesday, July 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Ella Toone and Millie Turner’s relationship at the club is a sister-like bond that nurtures each other. But while there was no action for Toone on the pitch in an England shirt that autumn, her first cap was earned during a friendly in February 2021.

From Debut To Glory for Ella Toone

Just two years later she was part of that successful England Euro 2022 squad. While Toone did make an appearance in every England game during the campaign, each came from the substitutes bench.

Toone tallied two goals at Euro 2022. Both were massive goals. The first came in the quarter-finals against Spain. That match saw England under pressure for the first time in the tournament. The Lionesses were trailing in Brighton with less than ten minutes to go.

The dream of home success was seriously on the ropes. But Toone rescued the Lionesses six minutes from time, turning in from a knockdown in the opposition’s box to level the game. A Georgia Stanway winner came for the Lionesses in allotted Extra Time.

2023 World Cup Ambitions

The next big target for the Lionesses is the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. England qualified for the tournament with some ease. They posted ten wins from ten in their qualification group, scoring 80 unanswered goals along the way.

Ella Toone was the joint second highest top scorer for England in their 2023 World Cup qualifying campaign. She racked up ten goals. Toone was beaten only by the tally of 13 posted by Beth Mead.

The 2023 Women’s World Cup is being jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand. The month-long tournament kicks-off on July 20th, 2023. The tournament will be the first edition to include 32 teams.

Who are England playing next?

As part of the road ahead to next summer, England Women enter some autumn 2022 action. The big one there is an England vs USA friendly as the Lionesses pit themselves against the reigning World Champions.

The USA Women are the benchmark of the women’s game. The USWNT have won the last two editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. England also face the Czech Republic, Japan and Norway in their final fixtures of 2022.

The latter two will be joining England at the 2023 Women’s World Cup. So there are big tests ahead for the European Champions as Serena Wiegman leads them into 2023. England Women’s previous best finish at a World Cup was a third-place finish in 2015.

Women’s Super League

The growth of the Women’s Super League in England has really helped develop the young talent that England are currently seeing. The standards have rapidly gone up. The likes of Chelsea Women and Arsenal Women have played major roles in projecting the women’s game forward.

The current England set-up is really starting to see the benefits of the growth of the domestic game. The international squad is littered with young players like Stanway, Hemp and Toone. That’s important for the Lionesses as stalwarts like Luzy Bronze, Millie Bright and Frank Kirby are heading towards the other end of their international careers.

England head coach Wiegman handed first call-ups to future talents Jess Park and Lucky Parker for their autumn internationals squad. Evidently the talent runs deep and the future looks bright. There’s a fine blend and a huge amount of belief. Will that translate into 2023 World Cup success?

Ella Toone Now The Role Model

Ella Toone’s parents both boast sporting backgrounds, her mum a gymnast and father Nick a football player. Both have been influential in her career. Toone credits their hard work behind the scenes, taking her to training sessions and matches during her youth as being crucial.

Toone recalls the times when she was taken to the local team Hindsford Football Club in Tyldesley. There she would kick around with her cousins and brother.

So the England star has come a long way from those humble grassroots to that huge England Euros win. After the Euro 2022 Final, Ella Toone managed to pick out her family in the celebrating crowd to pose for a photo with them.

She plays for her favourite team and cities former La Liga and Premier League star Cristiano Ronaldo as the player that she looked up to throughout her career.

Things are coming full circle where she is now the player being looked up to. Toone’s a role model for a generation of girls who also dream of reaching the highest level.