England manager Sarina Wiegman hopes this summer’s home European Championships will be an opportunity for her lionesses to win the heart of the world of football.
All matches in the England group and the Wembley final are already sold out for this summer’s tournament, which kicks off at Old Trafford on 6 July when Wiegman’s team face Austria.
There has been a lot of talk about England’s chances of winning the tournament, with the Lionesses among the favorites, but the former Netherlands manager also hopes his side will win some fans along the way.
“We are all so excited [tickets selling out] because we know where we come from, ”Wiegman said. Sky Sports News. “Now that we have this big event here, we are really excited about this tournament and we know we can make a difference.
“I hope after this tournament people will say: ‘It was the biggest and most exciting event I have ever been to and I am so proud of the English lionesses. And my nephew or my nephew or my cousin or my niece, they want to wear the jersey. Williamson’s or whoever’s playing, ”and that we’ve changed the world for every boy and every girl that women’s play has become so stable.
“We really want to show our fans that we are good, that we are a team, that we work together as a team and that we play very well and win games because obviously it’s about winning games. And that when they leave the game after watching us, they say: “Wow, I want to be a part of it. I want to be close to women’s football and our players”, and I really want to see the next match. “
Wiegman on his journey: I didn’t know I could be a coach!
When Wiegman was growing up at the age of six or seven, she was not allowed to play football and had no idea that one day she would grow to make 100 appearances for the Netherlands before becoming an international manager.
To combat the lack of opportunities she had to play soccer as a girl, Wiegman used her short haircut to transition as a boy and joined her twin brother’s team.
She is nowhere near where she is now, having coached the Netherlands to Euro success in 2017 and looking to do the same with England in 2022.
When asked if she ever thought women’s football would be at this level in 2022, she replied: “No, not at all. I wouldn’t even think I could train professionally because you couldn’t train at the time. .
At six you don’t think about coaching, but I always thought that I would become a PE teacher because I can’t get involved in women’s football, as a coach or just as an amateur.
“But now I’m here and I’m on a beautiful journey and I hope the game continues to grow and grow and all the girls have the opportunity to be involved in football or whatever they want to be.”
According to Wiegman, who are the favorites?
Wiegman says it’s too difficult to name an all-time favorite at this summer’s tournament, but he expects the level of performance to rise another level.
“Yeah well I think the game has grown so much and I think there are a lot of countries that are really good right now and they should be favorites, so you know a lot of countries are talking about the game. ‘Spain’ added Wiegman.
“I think we are also doing very well. Holland is the owner, Germany is still good, France is good, Sweden is still doing well.
“So I think it will be very tight and that is also exciting for this tournament. It will be the biggest event. But I think the level of the matches has improved and will improve further.
“I think we are improving a lot this season, but you never know why it’s football and it will be so close. And of course we have a dream and we will go to every game to win it, but other countries will, too, too.
“So yes, I hope we do. [win it]. We have to bring out the best in ourselves as a team and as individuals and then we’ll see how far we go. “