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The final of the Women’s Euro 2022 will pit England against Germany. Leading each of these teams are two women: Sarina Wiegman and Martina Voss-Tecklenburg. While the former aspires to win a second consecutive title as coach, the latter has already won four European Championships as a player. Cross portraits.
Of the 16 teams present at the 2022 Women’s Eurocup, only six have been managed by women. However, there are two coaches who will face each other, on Sunday, July 31, in the Wembley final. The Dutch Sarina Wiegman leading England will oppose the German Martina Voss-Tecklenburg leading the Frauen-Nationalmannschaft.
These two former players have already busy careers. Sarina Wiegman won the European title five years ago with the Netherlands, while Martina Voss-Tecklenburg won it four times in Germany. On Sunday, the matchup will be as visible on the pitch as it is on the bench.
Wiegman, a winning coach
Sarina Wiegman seems to turn everything she touches to gold. Six months after taking over the Dutch national team in 2017, she led her team to overall victory at the European Championships. Two years later, she did it again by allowing her players to reach the World Cup final where she lost to the Americans.
In a few months, she becomes one of the most outstanding trainers. England then offered her to take the initiative for her women’s team. A choice that is winning. In 19 games under her, England have not experienced the slightest defeat (17 wins, two draws), while they have lost six in the last 10 games before her arrival.
Under his guidance, the Leonas have developed an attractive, devilishly effective game as they have shown since the start of the European Championship by scoring 20 goals in five games.
Before finding success as a coach, Sarina Wiegman also had a long career as a player. Originally from The Hague, she launched her career in the late 1980s at the University of North Carolina where she rubbed shoulders with future American stars like Mia Hamm and Kristine Lilly. Upon her return to the country, she played for the Ter Leede team and recorded 99 caps for the national team.
After retiring from the sport in 2003, he decided to dedicate himself to coaching. She gradually worked her way up the ranks to become a national team assistant and then a coach in 2017. Known for her attention to detail and rigor, the 52-year-old coach could become the first to win two titles on Sunday. Europeans with two different countries. Beyond her personal success, Sarina Wiegman thinks above all about setting an example. “We want to inspire the Nation. We hope that in the end the whole country will be proud of us and that more and more girls and boys will play soccer”, she said a few days before the final.
Voss-Tecklenburg, a return to the top of Germany
At 54 years old, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg will not experience her first Euro final. She has already lifted the trophy as a player four times (1989, 1991, 1995, 1997). She was also a World Cup finalist in 1995.
But this time he will have to live this great moment on the bench. German players will be able to benefit from his experience. Since his arrival at the head of the national team, the team seems to come back to life. When she was appointed coach of the Frauen-Nationalmannschaft in November 2018, Germany was at an unusual low, with difficulty turning the page Silvia Neid who kept her team at the top of world football (world gold in 2007, European in 2009 and 2011). and Olympic in 2016) for more than a decade (2005-2016).
In three years, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg had to rebuild everything. In the 2019 World Cup, the Germans were eliminated in the quarterfinals, a defeat synonymous with elimination for the Tokyo Games, where they were unable to defend their Olympic title. But the covid-19 pandemic and the postponement of the English European Championship gave her another year to deepen her relationship with the players and instill a new confidence in them.
The result is more than revealing. While not necessarily favourites, Germany returned to their splendor at Euro 2022 with five wins from as many games, only one goal conceded against France in the semi-finals and one major tournament final, something not seen since Rio. 2016 Olympic Games. This success at Euro 2022 paved the way for an extension of his contract, which expired in August 2023, at the end of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, for which qualification is a formality.
Waiting for this other great match, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg knows that the tension will be at its maximum this Sunday in the final: “It will be a great party. It is classic football and England have been amazing in this tournament,” she notes. summed up after her team’s rating. “We are going to play at Wembley in front of 80,000 people. The majority will probably support England, but we accept this challenge.”
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