- The Manchester United and England midfielder was voted into the FIFA FIFPRO Women’s World 11 for the first time by her fellow professionals
- The 24-year-old talks Mary Earps, Man Utd journey, launching her own brand and plans for an academy
- “I'm big on giving back to where I've come from,” says Toone
On the international stage, England’s Ella Toone has shown her knack for producing goals in the big occasions: opener in the UEFA Women’s EURO final in July 2022, opener against Brazil in the Finalissima in April 2023 and opener for the Lionesses in their Women’s World Cup semi-final win against Australia in August 2023.
The 24-year-old’s performances for Manchester United and the Lionesses during the period 1 August 2022 to 20 August 2023 caught the attention of women’s football players across the globe, who voted the midfielder into the FIFA FIFPRO Women’s World 11 for the first time.
"It's something that means so much, being voted for by other players," Toone told FIFPRO. "As any player would say, those are the opinions that mean the most. They are the people that you work with every day and you want to please, and they want to please you, so it’s really special coming from them.
"You win trophies with your peers and you're on crazy journeys with them all, so to gain their recognition and their respect on the way is really special."
To add to her fairytale career of scoring important goals on the international stage for her country, Toone also enjoys the privilege of playing for her childhood club.
An ardent Manchester United supporter, Toone was part of the club’s debut campaign in the 2018/19 FA Women’s Championship. She has since embarked on a journey with United that has seen them rise from England’s second tier to competing for the Women's Super League title last season and playing in front of a crowd of over 77,000 at the Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley.
"I've improved so much since being a Manchester United player and I love and support the club as well, which makes it that even bit better," said Toone. "I think United did it at a perfect time and it's grown and grown since then. You've seen that clubs have now got women's teams and they're growing massively; it's about investing and being proud of their women's team."
Toone was joined in the global team of the year with United goalkeeper Mary Earps, a player often described by her team-mates as a leader.
Speaking of Earps, Toone said: "I get to play with her at club and international level and I know what kind of person and player she is. She's got such high standards and she pushes herself every single day in training to be better. She's someone you want in your net. She's a leader and she pulls off world class saves as well. It’s nice for her to get the recognition she deserves."
ET7 launch and academy ambitions
Last month Toone launched her own brand ET7 and, in doing so, became the first Lioness to trademark her name. Born in Tyldesley, Greater Manchester just 10 miles from Old Trafford and having started at Astley & Tyldesley FC as a young child, Toone has plans to launch an academy to give back to the community that helped launch her career.
She said: "It's something I've always wanted to do. I'm big on giving back to where I've come from, and I always think about the grassroots team and how I would not have got anywhere near here without them.
"I want to do something for my community and use my platform as best as I can to help young girls and boys start out in their journeys. With ET7, there's a lot of things that are coming that I'm excited about. Hopefully I can give back to people – from where I'm from and around the world."
From playing for the club she loves the most to launching her own brand – and bagging important international goals in between – Toone admits it’s "been a whirlwind couple of years". Off the field, she’s had her family and friends to keep her steady on the journey.
"I've learned that it's the people around me that matter the most. As long as I've got them by my side, they keep me grounded, they push me every single day to keep wanting to do better and to keep achieving things. As long as I make them proud, then I'll be really happy.
"It's that time away from football where you've got to sit back and reflect on things, and I think it's been really important and to see how far I've come from a little girl with a dream, to where I am to now and what I want to go on and achieve."