The English footballers disrupted their national coach Sarina Wiegman’s press conference after the European Championship final. The 52-year-old Dutchwoman had just begun her look at the final against Germany after extra time when the players entered the Wembley press room singing and dancing. They sang the famous song “Football’s coming home”. Goalie Mary Earps and defender Lucy Bronze even climbed onto the table Wiegman was sitting at.
The Dutch coach looked at everything with a smile. “It’s a quintessentially English thing,” Wiegman said. “But yes, we won the cup. It’s amazing what we did. Of course, you hope in advance that it will turn out like this. It’s great that it works.”
Wiegman led Dutch soccer players to the European title five years ago at the European Championship in their own country and now she has done it with England as well. “I don’t fully realize it yet. For me and my assistant Arjan Veurink, it’s the second time in a row. I need time to absorb everything.”
Wiegman’s side beat record-breaking champions Germany in the final in front of nearly 90,000 spectators at Wembley after extra time with 2-1. After the final whistle, she flew into Veurink’s arms and then kissed a bracelet on her right wrist. “This bracelet belonged to my sister. She died preparing for this European Championship. I miss her, she was my girlfriend. I felt that she was there too, that she was on the bar. I think that she’s very proud of me. And me on top of her.” Wiegman celebrated the European Championship title with a beer. “Drank beer for the first time in years. I don’t like it, but I’m enjoying it now.”
The national coach realizes that expectations in England for next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand are now even higher. “They will explode. But it’s not easy to win this European Championship and it won’t be next year. Countries like Germany, France and Spain are very, very strong. Sweden too. The best countries are growing, but countries below the peak like Belgium and Austria. It’s getting closer and closer, especially in Europe. Now is the time to celebrate and rest. And then we have to still qualify for the World Cup in September. It’s great to see what this tournament has done for our sport and for women in society, not just in England, but also in Europe and around the world. We have changed society.”
“Introvert. Avid gamer. Wannabe beer advocate. Subtly charming zombie junkie. Social media trailblazer. Web scholar.”