It is a far cry from Parris’ formative years when she twice failed to be offered a scholarship by Everton after joining the Merseyside academy at eight. Not until 2010 did she eventually settle in Manchester, where she enjoyed three seasons with United, scoring 27 times in 45 games before returning north to link up with Everton in 2013.
Her senior debut came under the management of her former United boss, Andy Spence, but it was Keith Boanas who handed Parris her first taste of international action when he invited the 18-year-old to join England’s Under-23 squad for a tour of Norway in February 2015.
The Londoner’s career came full circle in April 2018 when she was brought off the bench to make a scoring debut as England overcame Russia 2-1 at Prenton Park. Parris, who has been capped at every level from Under-15 to senior, scored twice and set up another to lead Mark Sampson’s side to victory over Belarus and Austria later the same year.
Her match-winning goal away to Russia in World Cup qualification was her first on the international stage, made all the sweeter as it took England to France and a fourth World Cup appearance. After starting each of Sampson’s last four games, she is set to be an integral part of Phil Neville’s squad.
The Women’s World Cup starts in less than a month and the United States is favored to win it all. But England, Japan, and Australia won’t be far behind the Yanks.
In our last article we discussed how much of an impact could Megan Rapinoe have on USA’s quest for glory at their third straight Women’s World Cup. Well, there are other very good teams in this tournament as well.
And Parris is a big reason why England is considered one of the favorites to win it all.
Ever since she made her senior debut and scored twice in a 2-0 win over Belarus back in October 2018, Parris has become an integral part of Samapnoe’s team at the World Cup. Not only did she break out in the last World Cup qualifiers (where she had six goals), but she has set new scoring records for top flight club Manchester City, including her match-winning goal in December that earned them the Women’s League Cup.
Parris is underrated by many and people may not realize how crucial she’ll be to England’s success at the World Cup, especially in the knockout stages.
We could see her play any of the front four positions (including goalkeeper) for England, who will rely on Parris to get goals at crucial times in matches. She has six goals in nine appearances since 2018 started and another one or two goals could be key to getting past teams like France, Canada, Brazil, etc.
It’s not just the goals she scores, but the pressure put on defenses by her relentless runs and tenacious play. She has incredible speed and is very difficult for defenders to keep up with. Parris will be hungry to score at the World Cup, which we could see in a big way if England makes it far into the tournament.
In her journey to the top, 25-year-old Nikita Parris has demonstrated tremendous perseverance by adding flair and ambition to a determination on her road to becoming the Lionesses’ World Cup hero.
The forward scored 19 goals in 19 FA Women’s Super League games and three in four FA Women’s Cup matches, receiving winners’ medals both times for her efforts, as well as the FWA Women’s Footballer of the Year.
Nikita Parris’s six goals in qualifying helped England qualify for the 2019 Women’s World Cup, and all of them resulted in a transfer to Olympique Lyonnais, the world’s greatest club.
Nikita Parris has also been the star player for the Lionesses since she scored twice on her senior debut in a World Cup qualification win over Russia.
Before 2019, Parris had only scored with the full national team once before – against Belgium during Euro 2017 qualifying. But with an added element of composure, six goals in nine internationals since the start of 2018 have taken her to third on the all-time England list, one behind record-holder Karen Walker and Kelly Smith.
Her steady improvement has been mirrored in Manchester City’s rise to second in their debut season under coach Vicky Jepson. Having finished seventh in 2017-18, they reached two domestic cup finals, losing the FA Cup to Chelsea but beating Arsenal in the League Cup.
There was also silverware on Parris’ side of Manchester, who won the WSL by 10 points over Chelsea. The city has never finished higher than fourth in their seven previous campaigns since being reformed as an independent club ahead of the 2014 season after eight years as a foundation club.
The Women World Cup
The Women’s World Cup, also known as the FIFA Women’s World Cup, is an international association football tournament contested by the top women’s national teams from members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the world governing body for the sport. Since 1991, when the first edition was known as the FIFA Women’s World.
The 31 places available to national teams in the qualification phase amass over three years. The host nation’s squad is automatically included as the 32nd entry. The actual World Cup Finals, also known as the World Cup Finals, are held at sites within the host country(s) for around one month.
The four national teams that have won the eighth FIFA Women’s World Cup competition were all from different countries. The United States has claimed four victories and is currently the champion following its triumph at the 2019 tournament in France. Germany, with two wins, and Japan and Norway, with one win each, are the other winners.
The Women’s World Cup has been staged in six countries. China and the United States have each hosted the event twice, while Canada, France, Germany, and Sweden have each done so once.