Looking at things from a distance, Jodie Taylor has done it for too long. She has no time to lose and most importantly, no desire to be an impotent spectator. That may be why the England striker no longer waits for the ball, but goes and look for it. Against Canada in the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup 2015, whenever Germany crosses the center line to ride in the Canadian camp, she was never far away.

Including in the feet of Lauren Sesselmann, North American defence, whom she stole a ball to go score the first goal of the English success, three minutes before Lucy Bronze marked the second (2-1).

“That was my mindset and the belief of the team, no ball is lost, no duel is lost, always go there and fight, so that no ball is easy to play for them,” she confirmed after the first qualification of a British women’s team for World semifinal. “We had to run, run and run again, pressurize, force them to make mistakes. And it paid off.”

No hard feelings, Taylor is well placed to know that determination often pays. At 29, she is playing in her first World Cup, and only made her international début the previous year, it is not for lack of having fought to achieve it earlier. So she connects the goals wherever she goes, the striker, she’s considered one of the best in the country.

Even back then her attempt at making contact by email with the culler Hope Powell remained a dead end. But it’s not a question of resenting anyone, even when fate and Mark Sampson, her current coach, offered her a rematch.

“Things are as they are and honestly, I have no hard feelings, I do not resent anyone,” says the player from Portland Thorns, The only English to evolve abroad. “The staff had the right to choose the players they wanted, and playing outside the country certainly did not help me,” says the one who has stepped on Canadian, American, Swedish and Australian lawns.

Even her attempt to return to England in Birmingham, seemed unnecessary in order to occupy a place in the UEFA EURO 2013 Female Sweden team. In Gothenburg that year, she sees her compatriots from the stands on one side and her teammates on the other defending the colours of their respective countries.

“I never gave up believing it, but it was probably the hardest time,” she admits. “I realized that it was useless to fight for the things I had no control.”

The privilege of age:

So, when Sampson gave her a chance in 2014, it’s a 28 years old Jodie, seasoned by her trials but as enthusiastic as a teenager, who made her first steps in the jersey of the Three Lionesses. “To start at this age, with the experience I have is an obvious bonus,” admits one that also has a coach-assistant experience in the United States. “I never gave up, and I’m happy to be back at the right time and prove I learned something through all my trials.”

The final trial took place just eight weeks before the Canadian tournament, under the pressure of a knee injury and surgery. “I was in rehabilitation for seven or eight hours a day, lying without knowing whether I would be able to be reinstated,” she recalls with emotion. “And yet the coach took me in the team, without even knowing if I’ll be recovered and able to play in this tournament.”

The confidence of Sampson, the care or the medical staff and Taylor’s iron will did the rest. The striker is up and ready to face the semifinals of the World Cup. This time, she’s not on the outside.

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