England defensive rocker and TikTok star

Mille Bright in England training ahead of the World Cup final - Mille Bright: Defensive rock musician and English Tik Tok star
MilliBright is the leader England In the absence of the injured Leah Williamson – Reuters / Carl Reisen

When the clock strikes midnight in Sydney a few hours After the Women’s World Cup finalIt will be Millie Bright’s 30th birthday. The only gift you’re watching right now measures 47 cm long, weighs 4.6 kg, and has a sterling silver heart encased in a 23-carat white and yellow gold spiral ring, topped with a soccer ball. Women’s World Cup.

However, regardless of whether she holds this award high, her name will already be in the English sporting history books. when Chelsea The defender captains England at home to Australia, becoming the first English footballer to do so in a Women’s World Cup final and only the second to do so in a World Cup final, after the late Bobby Moore.

Chesterfield-born Bright, Vice-Captain Last summer’s victory at the European ChampionshipsCaptain this tournament yet Leah Williamson knee injury exclude it. And now it carries the hopes of a nation that will be glued to our Sunday television screens.

Off the field, she is known for putting together amusing dances on TikTok, the social media platform where she has more than 275,000 followers and 1.5 million “likes”. But this is nothing compared to the fame that will come her way If you lead the lionesses to glory.

On the field, she is known as a commanding centre-back with tremendous power in the air, but in reality she started her football career as a striker with Doncaster Rovers Belles. When Chelsea signed her at the end of 2014, aged 21, she had spent most of the previous season playing in a midfield role, But Emma Hayes And her assistant, Paul Green, had other ideas.

With Bright’s strength, anticipation and tackling ability, she quickly became the London club’s first choice defender. Since then, she has been a part of every major trophy the Chelsea women have won in their history, with all 14 of those trophies since Bright’s first season coming with them.

At that point, she had not made her England debut, which came during an away win Belgium in September 2016. Since then, she has earned 72 caps and scored five big goals. But the privilege of captaining the team to a World Cup final is undoubtedly her greatest achievement.

When asked what that means for her, Bright’s response is typical of her character, in that she doesn’t want the attention to be on herself. She said: “We are always ahead of me.” “It will be the biggest moment of our career. I always say our profession and ‘we’, because it’s a team.

“It’s huge, but it’s huge for the team. Regardless of whether you get the captaincy or not, it’s a huge privilege and honor.” [to play for England]. Nothing singular but clearly a dream come true. To be in the final of the World Cup, but led by the girls. There are no words to describe it, but it’s ultimately the team.”

Those words epitomize Bright’s leadership, in the sense that she’d rather lead with her actions on the field than scream raging and passionate.

One player who knows her well from their time at Chelsea is England full-back Niamh Charles, who said of Bright: “For every captain, the best thing is for them to be themselves. Millie is a little less talkative.” [than Williamson] But she speaks with her actions. What we always want is that you don’t change too much when you have the armband. Millie has always been in that leadership group, you always know if you go to her she’ll help you and advocate for the players and be that link with the staff.”

Prior to the tournament, Bright and her teammates took the unprecedented step of publicly criticizing the lack of a bonus agreement with The Football Association, through a statement posted to Bright’s social media account on behalf of the team. She and her teammates made the decision to pause these discussions until after the tournament so they could focus on football itself. Now, their on-court success lands them in the unknown again: a world final.

If Bright had that cup in her arms when she turned 30. It will be a birthday party.

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