Few England players have made the headlines more during the Fifa Women's World Cup than goalscoring sensation Lauren James.
The Chelsea prodigy scored twice in England's in 6-1 victory over China and set up three other goals to secure a second consecutive player of the match award.
The 21-year-old became the first England player to be directly involved in five or more goals in a game at the men’s or women’s World Cup.
James said her performance against China was “what dreams are made of” as England advanced to the knockout stage.
Playing in the number 10 role, the Chelsea player also had a goal disallowed as the Lionesses finished top of Group D in style.
However James was sent off late on as their World Cup last-16 clash with Nigeria ended 0-0 after normal time. She was dismissed in the 87th minute in Brisbane after standing on Nigeria’s Michelle Alozie. James was initially shown a yellow card before VAR intervened, referee Melissa Borjas watched the incident back pitchside and it was changed to a red, leaving England with 10 players for extra time.
So who is Lauren James and why is she suddenly such a rising star?
Born in London, Lauren James started young and joined the Chelsea Academy in the Under-10s to Under-14s.
The forward was scouted by Arsenal and made her first appearance for the team aged 16 in October 2017 making her the second-youngest player in Arsenal's history to make their debut.
She then went on to sign her first professional contract for Manchester United in July 2018.
She scored 14 goals in 18 league appearances to help United win promotion to the top flight of women’s football.
James scored Manchester United’s first-ever goal in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and was their top scorer in the 2019/20 season with six goals in 12 appearances.
Her eye-catching performances meant she made the shortlist for the PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year that season.
In the summer of 2021 James was snapped up by Chelsea on a four-year contract and plays alongside fellow Lionesses Jess Carter, Niamh Charles and Millie Bright.
In her first year James made 12 appearances in a double-winning season and scored during a famous 9-0 away victory against Leicester City.
She was instrumental in helping Chelsea clinch a second consecutive WSL and FA Cup double and earned herself a string of prestigious awards.
Talent clearly runs in Lauren's family as she is the younger of Chelsea and England defender Reece James.
Never before had a brother and sister represented England at senior level in the modern era.
Speaking before the World Cup began, James said she didn't want to be known as Reece's sister, adding: "I want to carve out [my own name] and be known as 'this is Lauren James'."
But Reece couldn't help complimenting his sister on her extraordinary achievement, writing on Instagram Stories:
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