Published on :
The final of the Women’s Euro 2022 will oppose England to Germany. At the head of each of these teams are two women: Sarina Wiegman and Martina Voss-Tecklenburg. While the first hopes to win a second title in a row as a coach, the second has already won the Euro four times as a player. Cross portraits.
Of the 16 teams present at the Women’s Euro 2022, only six have been coached by women. However, it is indeed two coaches who will face each other, Sunday July 31, in the final at Wembley. The Dutch Sarina Wiegman at the head of England will be opposed to the German Martina Voss-Tecklenburg who leads the Frauen-Nationalmannschaft.
These two former players have an already busy career. Sarina Wiegman won the European title five years ago with the Netherlands, while Martina Voss-Tecklenburg won it four times while wearing the Germany jersey. Sunday, the confrontation will be as visible on the field as on the bench.
Wiegman, a winning coaching
Sarina Wiegman seems to turn everything she touches into gold. Six months after taking over the management of the Dutch team in 2017, she led her selection to general surprise to victory at the Euro. 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 prominent coaches. England then offered him to take the lead of its women’s team. A choice that turns out to be a winner. In 19 matches under his command, England have not experienced the slightest defeat (17 wins, two draws), while remaining on six losses in the last 10 meetings before his arrival.
Under his leadership, the Lionesses have developed an attractive game, devilishly effective as they have shown since the start of the Euro by scoring 20 goals in five matches.
Before finding success as a coach, Sarina Wiegman also had a long career as a player. Originally from The Hague, she started her career at the end of the 80s at the University of North Carolina where she rubbed shoulders with future American stars such as Mia Hamm and Kristine Lilly. Upon her return to the country, she played for the Ter Leede team and recorded 99 caps with the national team.
After retiring from sport in 2003, she decided to devote herself to coaching. She gradually rose through the ranks until she became an assistant in the national team, then a coach in 2017. Known for her attention to detail and her rigour, the 52-year-old technician could become the first to win two titles on Sunday. Europeans with two different countries. Beyond her personal success, Sarina Wiegman thinks above all of 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 football,” she said a few days before the final.
Voss-Tecklenburg, a return to the top of Germany
At 54, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg will not experience her first Euro final. Four times, she has already lifted the trophy as a player (1989, 1991, 1995, 1997). She was also a World Cup finalist in 1995.
But this time, she will have to experience this great moment on the bench. The German players will be able to benefit from his experience. Since his arrival at the head of the selection, the team seems to be coming back to life. When she was appointed coach of the Frauen-Nationalmannschaft in November 2018, Germany found itself in an unusual low, with difficulty turning the page Silvia Neid who maintained her selection 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. At the 2019 World Cup, the Germans were eliminated in the quarter-finals, a defeat synonymous with elimination for the Tokyo Games, where they could not defend their Olympic title. But the Covid-19 pandemic and the postponement of the English European Championship gave him another year to deepen his relationship with the players and instill in them newfound confidence.
The result is more than telling. While it was not necessarily the favorite, Germany regained its splendor at Euro 2022 with five victories in as many games, only one goal conceded against France in the semi-finals and a final of a tournament. major, which had not happened since the Rio 2016 Olympics. 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.
While waiting for this other major meeting, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg knows that the tension will be at its maximum this Sunday in the final: “It will be a big party. It’s a football classic and England have been incredible in this tournament “, she summarized after the qualification of her team. “We are going to play at Wembley in front of 80,000 people. Most will probably support England, but we accept this challenge.”