It's the morning after the biggest game of her life and Michelle O’Neill still can’t quite believe it.

As the assistant referee at the World Cup final in France between the USA and the Netherlands, O'Neill also takes home gold, an eternal reminder that she was part of the team of match officials who oversaw the biggest game in women’s football.

The Wexford woman was one of 48 assistant referees at the tournament and was also involved in the quarter-final clash between Germany and Sweden.

It's been a hell of a journey for the 40-year-old fitness instructor from Enniscorthy, who is an experienced official in the League of Ireland and Women’s National League.

She has also worked at other FIFA and UEFA competitions including the World Cup in Canada in 2015. Sunday’s showpiece however, was the most high-profile occasion of her refereeing career.

"I was in the line-up and the anthems were playing," she told RTÉ Sport.

"I searched for my family in the crowd and I couldn't believe it, they were directly in front of me in their seats. I just focused on them. The emotions were there.

"I closed my Facebook page, Instagram, all social media on Friday because I knew it would probably blow up. I didn't want to be distracted. I closed everything but I knew it was kind of a little bit big at home.

"I just wanted to stay focused."

The USA marched to their fourth World Cup crown with a 2-0 defeat of the Dutch as they further enhanced their reputation as the best side on the planet. 

Before kick-off, O'Neill had a close encounter with American skipper Megan Rapinoe.

"I was just doing my last check before we went out to the pitch and I shook her hand - I shake every captain's hand - and she looked at me and said, 'well, are you ready?' I said, 'hey, I was born ready'.

"She gave me a little smile and I was like, 'yeah, she knows I'm here now'."

It's been a surreal month that's given her memories to last a lifetime.

Whatever happens next in the career of the Michelle O'Neill, she'll always have Lyon.