20 Aug 2023 at 06:01
If Sarina Wiegman guides England to the world title at the expense of Spain on Sunday afternoon, she will be the first Dutch national coach to win the most important prize in football. The 53-year-old from The Hague discusses impressive statistics.
Three Dutch trainers were previously in the final battle: Rinus Michels (1974, Dutch men), Bert van Marwijk (2010, Dutch men) and Wiegman himself (2019, Dutch women). They all had to settle for silver.
Wiegman, who is in any case the first trainer to reach the final with two different countries, is after Even Pellerud (Norway, 1991 and 1995), Norio Sasaki (Japan, 2011 and 2015) and Jill Ellis (United States, 2015 and 2019 ) the fourth national coach with two World Cup finals at a Women’s World Cup. All her predecessors triumphed in at least one final battle.
The statistics of Wiegman, who joined England in 2021, are almost frighteningly good. The ‘Lionesses’ converted no less than 21 of the 23 official international matches under her leadership into profit.
Wiegman still had a good feeling about those two draws, because after penalties England won the Finalissima against Brazil in 2023 and the round of 16 of this World Cup against Nigeria.
The Hague is not undefeated with England, because earlier this year a friendly match against Australia was lost 2-0. The revenge in the semi-final followed on Wednesday with a 3-1 win, allowing Wiegman to compete for world gold again.
World Cup will have a new winner anyway
Both Spain and England have never won the Women’s World Cup. After the United States (four titles), Germany (two), Norway (one) and Japan (one), the tournament will have a fifth different winner. The last new country on the honor roll was Japan in 2011.
Spain only beat England three times
Based on the statistics, England is the favourite: it won seven of the sixteen previous meetings with Spain. Spain triumphed three times and six matches ended in a draw.
The most recent confrontation dates back to last year’s European Championship, when England won 2-1 in the quarter-final after extra time. Then Wiegman’s team steamed on to the European title in their own country.
The World Cup final between England and Spain starts on Sunday at noon and is played in Sydney.
Nationalities World Cup winning national coaches
(West Germany – 6 (Beckenbauer, Herberger, Löw, Neid, Schön, Theune) Brazilië – 5 (Feola, Moreira, Parreira, Scolari, Zagallo) Argentinië – 3 (Bilardo, Menotti, Scaloni) Italy – 3 (Bearzot, Lippi, Pozzo) Verenigde Staten – 3 (DiCicco, Dorrance, Ellis) France – 2 (Deschamps, Jacquet)
Uruguay – 2 (López, Suppici) England – 1 (Ramsey)
Japan – 1 (Sasaki) Norway – 1 (Pellerud) Spain – 1 (Forest)