Sarina Wiegman orchestrated England’s historic victory at Euro 2022 last year, clinching their first major women’s championship. As the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup approaches its final showdown between Spain and England at Stadium Australia on Sunday, the Dutch maestro is preparing for her fourth consecutive major tournament final.
Since stepping into international football management in 2017, the 53-year-old strategist has remarkably orchestrated back-to-back triumphs at the Women’s Euros, initially with the Netherlands in 2017, and then repeating the feat with England in 2022. This victorious streak, however, was interrupted by a setback as her native nation suffered defeat against the perennial champions, the United States, in the 2019 World Cup final.
Throughout her journey, Sport News Center has delved into the insights of the players and coaches who have collaborated with Wiegman across her illustrious career. As she aims to rewrite history by guiding the Lionesses to their inaugural world title, the attention shifts to the mastermind behind their triumphs.
Wiegman, devoted to the England job, revealed to BBC sports editor Dan Roan that she thoroughly relishes her role. Her football journey commenced on the streets of The Hague, where she discovered her love for the sport by playing alongside her twin brother in a time when girls-only teams were non-existent. Her international career began at the age of 16 in 1986 when she was called up to represent the Netherlands. She later honed her skills by playing football at the University of North Carolina (UNC) in the United States.
Her time at UNC proved transformative, as she played alongside football luminaries such as Mia Hamm and Kristine Lilly, who would both achieve World Cup glory. Kristine Lilly reminisces about their shared experiences, describing Wiegman as a crafty midfielder with a competitive edge. Wiegman’s determination and intensity on the field were unmistakable, traits she now balances with a more composed demeanor as a coach.
Transitioning from player to coach, Wiegman embarked on a journey marked by perseverance. Her coaching career started when she retired from playing and began coaching football alongside teaching physical education. Her breakthrough arrived with the inception of the Women’s Eredivisie in 2007, which led to her first full-time coaching role at ADO Den Haag. While initially hesitant, she transformed the team into a formidable force, embracing innovative training methods that cultivated player development and unity.
Her venture into coaching continued as she assumed the role of assistant coach for the Netherlands national team. Undeterred by gender norms, Wiegman embarked on the Uefa Pro Licence course, the highest coaching accolade in the professional game, and carried out an internship with Sparta Rotterdam, making history as the first female coach in Dutch professional men’s football.
In 2017, Wiegman ascended to the helm of the Netherlands squad, swiftly securing victory at the Euros and leading her team to the World Cup final in 2019. Her remarkable journey progressed further as she took the reins of the England squad in 2021, inheriting a team undergoing transformation. By creating a familial atmosphere and promoting open communication, Wiegman inspired a collective spirit that enabled England’s success.
Wiegman’s coaching approach is characterized by a blend of clarity, directness, and empathy. She sets clear expectations for players, fostering an environment where honest conversations thrive. This approach has garnered immense respect from her players, as well as praise from Sue Campbell, the director of women’s football at the Football Association, who labels Wiegman a “remarkable leader and a very special person.”
Beyond the football field, Wiegman’s personal life adds depth to her character. Married to Marten Glotzbach, a youth football coach, she is known for her empathetic nature, connecting with players on a personal level and encouraging them to share their stories. This genuine compassion sets her apart as a coach who prioritizes her players’ well-being.
As Sarina Wiegman prepares to lead England into the World Cup final, her legacy as a trailblazing coach and compassionate leader comes into focus. With a remarkable career trajectory marked by innovative coaching methods and a profound understanding of her players, Wiegman stands as an exemplar of success in women’s football coaching.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Women’s Football Coaching
Who is Sarina Wiegman and what has she achieved in women’s football coaching?
Sarina Wiegman is a prominent figure in women’s football coaching, known for leading England’s national women’s team to their first major trophy at Euro 2022 and for her earlier successes with the Netherlands. She has masterminded victories in back-to-back Women’s Euros and has also reached a World Cup final. Her coaching journey, marked by innovative methods and empathetic leadership, has garnered respect and praise within the football community.
How did Sarina Wiegman transition from a player to a coach?
Sarina Wiegman began her coaching career after retiring from playing. She combined teaching physical education with coaching, and her breakthrough came with ADO Den Haag. She continued her coaching journey, including a historic stint as an assistant coach with a Dutch professional men’s football team, Sparta Rotterdam, and earned the prestigious Uefa Pro Licence qualification.
What coaching approach does Sarina Wiegman adopt?
Sarina Wiegman is known for her clear, direct, and empathetic coaching approach. She establishes clear expectations for players while fostering an open and honest atmosphere where discussions thrive. Her compassionate leadership style extends beyond the field, building strong bonds with her players and encouraging them to share their stories.
How did Sarina Wiegman transform the England women’s national team?
Upon taking over as England’s coach, Wiegman inherited a team undergoing transition and worked to build a collective spirit among players. She created an environment of open communication and unity, fostering strong player relationships. Her coaching methods, which emphasize both clarity and compassion, helped lead England to victory at Euro 2022.
What sets Sarina Wiegman apart as a coach and leader?
Sarina Wiegman’s coaching journey is characterized by her innovative methods, empathetic leadership, and ability to connect with players on a personal level. Her coaching achievements, such as leading two different nations to Women’s European Championship victories, along with her compassionate approach, make her a unique and influential figure in women’s football coaching.
More about Women’s Football Coaching
- Sarina Wiegman: The mastermind behind the Lionesses’ success (BBC Sport)
- Sarina Wiegman – Manager Profile (The Football Association)
- Sarina Wiegman: From the Hague to England head coach (BBC Sport)
- Sarina Wiegman: The Dutch mastermind driving England’s Euro 2022 success (Sky Sports)
- Sarina Wiegman: The Lionesses’ trailblazing head coach (FIFA)
- Sarina Wiegman’s journey from player to iconic coach (The Guardian)