Lauren James, the father of superstar siblings dad Lauren James and Reece James has compared his daughter to Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona after taking the Women’s World Cup by storm.
James was surprisingly left on the bench for England’s opening game of the tournament against Haiti, but came into the starting line-up for the last two matches and made a stunning impact.
The 21-year-old netted the winner in the Lionesses’ 1-0 win over Denmark and was then involved in five goals, scoring two herself, in a 6-1 win against China.
The Chelsea forward has been England’s standout performer as they eased into the last 16 of the World Cup, and Nigel thinks his daughter can go on and follow in the footsteps of some of the greatest players to play the game.
Reflecting on Lauren’s three goals at the tournament in Australia and New Zealand, Nigel told BBC Sport: ‘Lauren (has) done goals like that when she was younger for years.
‘And you just look and think to yourself, that word freedom, that’s what you talk about, Ronaldinho, Messi, those players, Maradona, had that freedom to play. She has the ability to do that.’
The three players Nigel mentioned are all World Cup winners, an achievement Lauren will be looking to emulate over the coming weeks.
When asked whether he saw Lauren becoming a household name in the women’s game, Nigel replied: ‘Absolutely. We don’t see to many of those Maradona’s, Ronaldinho’s, we don’t see them anymore.
‘So, on the female side, when you see a player like that, you have to look at it and sit and think to yourself “wow”. If she remains fit and keeps developing, and having the support around her, why not?’
James will be back in action on Monday when England take on Nigeria as they look to book their place in the quarter-finals.