Sports FOOTBALL "Show how good we are." Wigman makes England demand

"Show how good we are.” Wigman makes England demand

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Sarina Wigman said England are desperate to win Sunday’s Euro 2022 final against Germany to “show once again that we are the best”.

The Liones manager said: “We are not talking about a rivalry between England and Germany; we want to show badly how good we are and play our best game. This team has so much zeal to win. And so much resilience.

This is an opportunity for England to change the women’s game forever | Karen Carney

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We want, we want so badly to show that we are the best again and show our best game. This is what we’ve been trying to do all along. And then, I hope, it will bring us victory. This is basically where we are. Also, we’re talking about the players, not the story – it’s here and now.”

Wigman has settled in quickly since she came to England after taking the Netherlands to the Tokyo Olympics last summer. She began drinking tea and eating fish and chips to absorb the English culture.

She may have made more changes to her diet than the team. “Of course I knew that over the years England was already really good,” she said of her visit last September. “So I didn’t think that I would come and change everything, because everything was already really good.

The team and women’s football in England are so big and they’ve had such incredible development so I just wanted to find out what I can, with the technical staff, add to this team to take the next step forward.”

A key part of this development was to bring calm to the squad and team structure. To maintain her own peace of mind, she practices yoga and meditates daily.

Sarina Wigman downplays England’s rivalry with Germany. Photograph: Lynn Cameron/The FA/Getty Images

“I just do it all and stay calm,” she says. “We are so well prepared that it also gives me peace of mind. I know that we have done our best. It may or may not win us, but we know we did everything in our power to do our best and that’s okay.”

The key to her peace of mind was built through understanding who she is as a person. “Over the years I have learned – and I think this is the main thing – about myself as much as possible.

It takes time. You need confidence to make a choice. I was a teacher when I first worked as a trainer at ADO Den Haag. When I started, there were so many things in front of me and I needed to learn more about myself.

You will find out your strengths and weaknesses. Over time, you gain so much experience that you trust yourself and gain confidence. You know you did the right thing, no matter how the person in front of you reacts.”

In the Netherlands, there is no resentment against Wigman for leaving the national team for England. Instead, there is huge pride as her team enters the game against a record eight-time European champions.

There is a sense that she more than spent her time in the Netherlands, exceeding expectations by lifting the domestic euro in 2017, and many are delighted to see what she is doing with the resources of a country that is several steps ahead in its development. women’s football.

“It’s very nice,” she says in response to what journalists are saying in her home country. “When I started my coaching career, I didn’t even know you could be a full-time coach. So now it’s just really nice. I understand very well where we came from with the women’s game and where we are now, and I just really enjoy it. Today I am honored to be a part of this whole journey from young children.”

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