Raheem Sterling believes winning the Nations League with England could be the key to success in future tournaments.
Gareth Southgate’s men also have the chance to become the first side to win the Nations League, and Sterling is determined to follow a trophy-laden season with Manchester City by securing silverware with his country.
“The finals? It’s massive,” he said. “That’s something I’d love to do with England, with an England shirt on to lift a trophy.
“We’ve got a massive opportunity here, but at the same time we know how difficult it will be. [Winning the Nations League] would give the team a lot of confidence.
“If you can win this, then when you do come in positions in later tournaments, in Euros and the World Cup, it does give you a positive side, because you’ve been there already with your national team.
“Once the first comes, I think it’s one of those; it’ll feel a bit easier and not as pressured to do it again.”
Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman’s first match in charge ended in a 1-0 friendly defeat to England in Amsterdam, but 15 months on his side have improved significantly and Sterling has been impressed.
“They had a period where they rebuilt and I think they look really good as a team,” he added.
“They’ve got some unbelievable players, attacking players, defenders, and all round their team is solid, as we know from the last time we played them.
“They’re a stronger team now, a better team, and it’ll be a massive challenge for us, and it’s one that we’re up for.”
Sterling is sure to play a key role for England this summer as Southgate looks to cap the national team’s progress with silverware, and the 24-year-old was full of praise for his manager.
“One thing with this manager and the team, we’re all willing to work as hard as we need to,” he said. “The other teams are working hard, so we need to work twice as hard.