England need to win a major tournament to truly be considered among the world’s best, forward Nikita Parris believes.
The Lionesses reached the semi-finals at the 2017 Euros and the World Cup in 2019 and on Monday, Baroness Sue Campbell, the FA's director of women's football, said it would be a failure if they didn’t win the home Euros in 2022 or the World Cup in 2023.
Parris, who left Manchester City for European champions Lyon last summer, shares that ambition, saying England need a major trophy to be considered among the likes of the USA and Germany – the latter due to take on the Lionesses in a friendly next week.
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“I believe England now need to have that pressure of having to win a major tournament,” Parris said. “I think in the past we've said that we'll go into win, but. We're going to win, but. There’s always a but. As Sue clearly stated yesterday, it's about winning a major tournament for England now and nothing less will be good enough.
“I was truly, truly disappointed in the World Cup when we lost against America, because I really thought that was our time, but now we have to build on the momentum of getting to semi-finals and not quite having enough to go to get to the final to win. Now, that's not good enough.
“Now, we have to train and get our mindset right because winning a major tournament is the only way forward for England. Not just the World Cup [either], because we've got an Olympic Games and we've got a home Euros.
“The home Euros will be an unbelievable time to really push women's football in England on.
“The Women’s Super League (WSL) is a great advertisement for clubs worldwide, players worldwide, to really look at look at the league and see where it's going.
“It's a fantastic league, even me being abroad and watching as many games as I can, I think that the league has really pushed on, but in order for England to really reach those heights in the eyes of the those who are at the very top of women's football, we have to win a major tournament.”
Huge progress made by the WSL has only enhanced the reputation of England in the women’s football world off the back of the national team’s success.
Its fully professional status and ability to attract star names is putting it in the conversation for the best league in the world, with it certainly having the potential to be that.
Parris, meanwhile, is plying her trade in France with Lyon, with whom she won the Champions League in the summer. The 26-year-old is hopeful that her experience in winning trophies with the best club in Europe can help England achieve their goals.
“Lyon have a great mindset and winning mentality. They know how to find a way to win, regardless of the situation or circumstances in which we find ourselves in,” she said. “That mindset is relentless it's something that happens each and every day in training. You learn to adapt, then it becomes who you are and that's what I why I moved to Lyon.
“I wanted to understand in those moments what it takes, whether it's just one player, a team effort, a change in formation, what's the change of mindset, that was for me, why I wanted to go out there and really test myself in the big occasions in the big games.”