Skip to content
GO TO bet365 Sports
  1. Football

Women's World Cup: Sarina Wiegman - capturing the hearts of a nation

Sarina Wiegman, already a national treasure after guiding England to glory at last year's Euros, is now one step away from making even more history after leading the Lionesses to the World Cup final.

No coach in the history of English football has led the nation to two major trophies – victory over Spain in Sydney on Sunday morning and Wiegman will have achieved exactly that.

All the greats, men and women, who have tried and failed to emulate what Sir Alf Ramsey did back in 1966 have left the stage clear for this modest Dutchwoman to move out into a league of her own.

WhatWomen's World Cup Final 2023
WhenStadium Australia, Sydney
Where11:00, Sunday 20th August, 2023
How to watchBBC1 & ITV1
OddsSpain Women 13/8, Draw 11/5, England Women 7/4

One last hurdle between Wiegman and immortality

Wiegman has already established herself as a great coach, but now she stands on the verge of something very special indeed after masterminding England's 3-1 win over Australia in the second semi-final of the World Cup on Wednesday.

Just a year after leading the Lionesses to glory at the Euros, now just Spain stand in Wiegman's way of a historic double.

It will be tough – just look at the prices for confirmation of that, with England 15/8 and Spain 17/10

Of the two nations there is no doubt that the extra flashes of genius, the greater moments of innovation and swagger, have come from Jorge Vidal's Barcelona and Real Madrid-dominated squad.

But Wiegman is a winner, of that there is no doubt whatsoever. And if the name England is being engraved into the silverware to be held aloft under an Australian sky by captain Millie Bright, few will remember the grinding out of wins against Haiti, Denmark or Nigeria, just the fact that England – and their honorary English Dutchwoman – are the best in the world.

Playing honours for both club and country

Wiegman was born in The Hague on 26th October 1969 and attended the University of North Carolina where she played for the North Carolina Tar Eels.

Having returned to the Netherlands, she shone in midfield for Ter Leede while working as a PE teacher, and she went on to win both the Dutch Championship and the KNVB Cup.

She also made 104 appearances for the Dutch national team between 1987 and 2001 before retiring from playing in 2003.

Success in the dugout

Wiegman gained her first job in management at the club she served with such distinction as a player when she was handed the reins at Ter Leede in 2006.

She steered them to league and KNVB Cup success the following year, and was then handed the opportunity to manage hometown club Den Haag in the inaugural season of the women's Eredivisie.

They won the league and cup double in 2012 and the KNVB Cup again in 2013, before she became assistant coach to the Dutch national team in 2013 while also taking responsibility for the Under-19s.

The 51-year-old was named interim Netherlands coach when Roger Reijners was sacked in August 2015, and returned to an assistant role after Arjan van der Laan was announced as his replacement.

Wiegman completed her Pro Licence coaching qualification and worked as an assistant at Jong Sparta Rotterdam in the Dutch third tier before getting the chance to lead her country when Van der Laan was dismissed in December 2016.

National hero

The effect Wiegman had on the Dutch team was immediate as she guided them to victory in the European Championships of 2017 on home soil, becoming the first Netherlands manager to win a major football title since the legendary Rinus Michels led the men's team to glory at Euro 88.

Two years later, her side reached another final at the World Cup in France, only to be beaten 2-0 by the USA.

In August 2020, she signed a four-year deal to replace Phil Neville as England manager, taking over after the Tokyo Olympics, where Wiegman's Dutch team lost in the quarter-finals.

She took the job the following January and the team cruised through to the Euros, winning all 10 of their qualifiers with an aggregate score of 80-0.

They won the 2022 Arnold Clark Cup when they beat Germany at Molineux, and then came the Lionesses' finest hour, defeating the same opposition to lift the European title at Wembley later in the year.

With that success, Wiegman became the first manager to win the Euros with two different countries and England followed that triumph by beating Brazil on penalties to win the CONMEBOL-UEFA Finalissima.

Related Articles

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalised service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy

New to bet365? Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets Join Now

Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.