England womens captain, Steph Houghton says shes eager to be playing Brazil in front of a sell-out audience in the North East and wont ever forget the way she began out there as a youngster, wearing oversize shirts, that was handed down from the mens team.
The Lionesses take on Brazil on Saturday, a side they have beaten this season.
Thirty thousand tickets have been sold at Middlesbroughs Riverside Stadium. However, the side of Phil Neville are having gone four games.
Talking to Sky Sports News, Houghton said:Clearly when the likes of me and Jill Scott began at Sunderland, we were 13 or 14 years old.
You had to pay to play, #250 worth of subs to play Sunderland. You had hand me down kits from the mens side to perform , which was large guys.
Look, Ive seen every side of this last 10 to 15 decades and I wouldnt change it to the world. I believe that it actually makes us the gamers we are now. I think we are in a privileged position now. I am able to say Im a professional footballer. Its my occupation.
But at precisely the same time, I will never forget what we are through, in relation to how we got into the position. The future is actually bright for these young women coming through today, who are 16 or 17.
Houghton, that performs centre-back to Manchester City, got married to Bolton Wanderers defender Stephen Darby.
Three months later he had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND), a condition that affects the mind and nervous system, causing muscular fatigue. Former Rangers captain, Fernando Ricksen, lost his battle a month, aged 43.
In Saturdays match, a live donation service will be open, with profits. The aim of the charity is to increase consciousness, to help those suffering and to fund future study.
It has been hard on a private level, but I think with the base gives us something else to concentrate on, said Houghton.
Im trying to focus on my soccer. I love being here. My husband is really supportive of it and now I am supporting his foundation as much as I can.
The Lionesses match against Brazil will be their first home game since the failure of the World Cup where they lost to the USA from the semi-final.
Among the most significant dangers is very likely to be forward, Marta, who is widely considered to be the best player of all time. Shes won the FIFA player of the year on six events.
As a defender, Houghton looks forward to playing :Those types of players can change games in a moment. She is one of the kind of players.
She drives her team on, whether that is her dribbling with the ball or some of the hints shes doing. She just loves the huge occasions so that I have a massive respect for her and what shes done for the sport.

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