Chelsea’s eyes are on the big European prize, says Sophie Ingle

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Sophie Ingle says Chelsea are determined to turn domestic dominance into European silverware.

Chelsea and Arsenal are among the seeded teams for Friday’s Champions League quarter-final draw in Switzerland after topping their qualifying groups before Christmas.

Emma Hayes’ Women’s Super League champions breezed through their group, winning five and drawing once and beating two-time finalists Paris St Germain home and away.

Chelsea v Reading – FA Women’s Super League – Kingsmeadow
Can Chelsea add a European crown to their domestic titles this season? (John Walton/PA)

“Champions League is the next aim for us as a club,” said midfielder Ingle, 31, part of Chelsea sides that reached the last four in 2019 and lost to Barcelona in the final two years ago.

“Domestically we’ve won a lot over the last three, four, five years.

“Now we have to try and go one better and be champions of Europe, which is a tough ask because the women’s game is growing massively.

“We know there are no easy games now at European level, so we’re looking forward to the draw to see who we get in the next round.”

Chelsea are chasing a fourth successive WSL title and currently hold a two-point lead over Manchester United.

Before they resume their title bid next month, Wales skipper Ingle will join up with her national team at the Pinatar Cup in Spain.

Matches against Iceland, Scotland and the Philippines will act as preparation for the forthcoming Euro 2025 qualifiers.

Wales v Slovenia – 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying – Group I – Cardiff City Stadium
Wales went to close to qualifying for the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand this summer (Simon Galloway/PA)

The 123-times capped Ingle said: “The last campaign was a massive boost for us as a nation. Every single camp we had a record crowd and we’re going in the right direction.

“The ambition is to get to a major tournament and we’ve got a few months to build now and push on.

“I’m sure that another year down the line we’re going to be even better.

“We’ll learn from our mistakes and  think we’ll have more of a drive because we’ve been so close. I’m very excited for the next European campaign with Wales.”

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