Christiansen: Lionesses wouldn't have won Euros without Houghton

England would not have won the Euros in 2022 without former captain Steph Houghton, says Sky Sports pundit Izzy Christiansen.

Houghton, who had captained England at three major tournaments, was not part of the Lionesses squad that beat Germany at Wembley to lift the nation's first trophy in football since 1966 after injury disrupted her season.

But Christiansen, a team-mate of Houghton with City and England, says the achievement would not have been possible without the defender, who is to retire from football at the end of the season.

"I genuinely don't think England would have won the Euros in 2022 had Steph not been a captain before for club and for country," Christiansen told Sky Sports News.

"Her impact in the game, it extends for the last 10 or 15 years at least, especially within the change of professionalism in women's football," added Christiansen.

"Steph is somebody I look at and will always look back on as someone that paved the way for a lot of people and I hope over the next few months she gets her recognition in the game."

Asked for her reaction to Houghton's retirement, Christiansen said: "Steph is an absolutely superb professional but I completely understand her reasoning. It's mentally and physically exhausting, giving so much to the game at a time when not many people believed in it.