Sarina Petronella Wiegman, also known as Sarina Wiegman-Glotzbach, is a Dutch football manager and former player; she has been the manager of the England national team since September 2021. Since taking up this job, Wiegman has had massive success, including leading the Lionesses to victory in the Euro 2022 tournament as well as the team reaching the 2023 Women’s World Cup Final which they lost to Spain over the weekend.
Before managing England Wiegman managed the Dutch national team for four years, winning the UEFA Women’s Championship in 2017 and reaching the 2019 Women’s World Cup Final which they lost to the United States.
1. Wiegman is a former captain of the Netherlands
She was first selected to represent her country in 1986, at the age of 16. Over the course of her career with the national team, Wiegman became the team’s captain. She began her career as a central midfielder before switching to defence, her talent and skills propelled her career as she became increasingly renowned within the football world.
2. She earned 104 caps with the Netherlands
Primarily a midfielder, Wiegman represented the Netherlands national team many times. In 2001, she gained her 100th cap, becoming the first Dutch player to do so, however, it was later discovered that five of her caps were against non-FIFA affiliated competitors so her official total is 99 caps.
3. She is the only coach to win the The Best FIFA Women’s Coach of The Year Award 3 times
She was awarded first the title in October 2017 as the Netherland’s Head Coach. Following the Netherlands reaching the final of the 2019 Women’s World Cup, Wiegman was awarded the title for a second time. In February 2023, she won the award for a third time, the most times by any coach.
4. Wiegman became one of the first females to play professional football in the Netherlands
At six years old, she cut her hair short to look like a boy and played with her twin brother, Tom Wiegman’s team during a time where the national forbade females from playing football. Due to her parents’ encouragement, whom she described as being “open minded”, she was able to pave a way for herself in the football world and accepted her destiny of becoming a professional footballer at a very young age.
5. She became the first non-British permanent manager of the Lionesses
The Lionesses were crowned Team of the Year by the TV Programme Sports Personality Of The Year (SPOTY) in 2022 while their manager Sarina was also given the award of Manager of the Year at SPOTY in 2022.
Following England’s 1-0 defeat to Spain in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, which was the first loss in the tournament for Wiegman, the Lioness’ manager said she was disappointed but proud of her team. She thanked fans for their ‘incredible support’ over the course of the tournament
Spain’s victory in their third World Cup appearance prevented the Lionesses, the reigning European champions, from winning the trophy which would have been the first time World Cup triumph for England since 1966. Wiegman became the only coach in history to take two nations to the World Cup Final, highlighting her skills.