Sarina Wiegman tells England to ‘forget history’ against Germany and prove they are the best
Sarina Wiegman has told her England Lionesses to “forget history” and prove they are world beaters when they face Germany in Sunday’s Euro 2022 final.
Wiegman is well aware of the historical rivalry between the two nations, including the last time they faced off in a final back in 2009 when England were hammered 6-2.
She smiled knowingly when it was pointed out the Dutch also have a similar competitive relationship with the Germans, but claimed there had been no talk of revenge during this week’s preparations.
“We approach this game exactly the same as every other game we have played. You know when it’s a final you are going to play against the best opponent you can imagine. And that’s Germany.
“Yes, we really analyse our opponents and talk about what their patterns are, what their strengths are, what their weaknesses are, if they have any? And then we say, what are our strengths? What do we need to do to harm them?
“I don’t know what the perfect game is because whoever is in front of us we want to beat them. This is the final and we just really want to win the final. We talk about their players, not the history. It is about the here and now.”
There will be 90,000 fans inside Wembley – a record for a European international match between two female teams – and a live television audience that could peak at 15 million people.
She added: “Germany wants to win the final too, of course, but we don’t talk about the rivalry between England and Germany. We want to show so badly how good we are and play our best game.
“There’s so much eagerness in this team to win. And so much resilience. We want so badly to show again that we are the best, to play our best game.
“That’s what we’ve been trying to do all the time. And then, hopefully, that will bring us to win. That’s basically where we’re at. And then on top of that, we talk about players but not history. It is the here and now.”
Wiegman has already won the Euros with the Netherlands in 2017, taking them to a World Cup final two years later and has proven her elite coaching credentials by also taking England to a final after less than a year in the job.
Encouragingly, she sees a winning mentality in England’s players that impressed her from the moment she took charge of a training session last October.
“I think they have been mentally strong already,” she explained. “I just think now they believe, they truly believe that we can beat anyone if we just do some things really well. We have already shown it, we have already proved ourselves that we can [against Spain and Sweden].
“It’s not just words. You need some behaviour too, to help each other. I think the team has done that so well.
“They’ve developed some confidence and then you can see the goal [to be European champions]. Mentally, it’s making the right football decisions in the game and having the right qualities also because it starts with the quality of the players.”
Asked about what this tournament has done for women’s football in this country, Wiegman added: “You know when you win, we won the quarter-final and the semi-final, I think we have already made a difference and been an inspiration for the country. That’s really nice but we want more. You know when you win a major tournament that it would really make a difference, that would make me really proud.