Jodie Taylor might be the oldest member of Phil Neville’s Lionesses’ squad but there is one thing she is yet to do in an England shirt – play against Brazil, writes Tom Dean.
The 33-year-old has featured for England at the past two World Cups, making almost 50 appearances along the way.
But facing the Brazilians has always passed her by despite two fixtures in the past 12 months.
That irregularity is set to come to an end this weekend with Taylor earning the call-up from Neville for friendlies against both the green-and-yellows and Portugal this month.
England were victorious in both recent meetings against Brazil but will face a new-look side this time around with Pia Sundhage at the helm having taken over as manager after their disappointing World Cup performance.
And the Swede, who has reached the last three Olympic gold medal matches, will no doubt be looking to claim a considerable scalp at the Riverside on Saturday – a stadium Taylor has never played in either.
“We have faced Brazil a number of times over the last few years, but I have actually never played against them, so I am really excited,” she said.
“Historically and currently, their front line and their attacking players have always been so dangerous.
“Now with their new coach they will probably look to improve defensively as well so we know how much a tough game we are in for when we play them.
“I am sure they will be disappointed that they didn’t progress further at the World Cup and of course with the Olympics coming up too I am sure they will come out fighting.
“I am so happy that we are drawing a big crowd for the game too and the prospect of playing in front of a full-house at the Riverside is so exciting - I have never played there either.”
We're coming for you, match day.— Lionesses (@Lionesses) October 3, 2019
🏴 vs 🇧🇷
12.45pm KO pic.twitter.com/bpGROqj4iI
The Birkenhead-born striker was something of a late bloomer and did not make her international debut until 2014 at the age of 28, at which time she was a Washington Spirit player.
A brief stint at Arsenal during the 2016/2017 season has been Taylor’s only club on home soil while she has been an international representative.
Contrary to the men's squad, Neville’s squad is full of overseas players with Lucy Bronze, Alex Greenwood and Nikita Parris all plying their trade for Lyon in France while Rachel Daly makes the same transatlantic journey as Taylor from her club, Houston Dash.
But those long-haul flights are not about to put a now Seattle-based Taylor off pulling on the shirt of the country she loves playing for yet.
“I am always here and available to play for my country and the aim will always be to score goals,” added the Reign FC striker
“Playing over in the USA and flying over for camps is of course a bit of a challenge but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
“The level of competition in America is very high and that makes me realise even more that I love the challenges off this sport.
“If I didn’t want to be here, I think it would be easy to say I don’t want to come over anymore, but I love playing for England and that won’t change any time soon.
“They will probably have to kick me out of the squad when I can’t run anymore – but I hope that is not for a while yet.”
Tickets for England Women v Germany at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, November 9 (ko 5.30pm), priced only £1 under-16s and £15 adults, are on sale now at www.TheFA.com/Tickets