Sarina Wiegman Partner: A former Dutch football player and manager, Sarina Petronella Wiegman (born October 26, 1969) has been in charge of the England women’s national team since September 2021.
Starting off as a central midfielder, Wiegman eventually became a defensive midfielder for the North Carolina Tar Heels women’s soccer team at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1989. In addition to her work as a physical education teacher, she joined the women’s squad of Ter Leede when she returned to the Netherlands.
The Dutch championship and the KNVB Cup were each won once by Ter Leede. From 1987 until 2001, Wiegman served as the Netherlands’ ambassador to the United States. Even though she has played 104 times for her nation (which was previously recognized by the KNVB), caps gained against non-FIFA affiliated opponents resulted in her official cap total standing at 99.
When Wiegman finished her playing career in 2003, she began a coaching career with Ter Leede and ADO Den Haag’s women’s teams, where she served as assistant manager in 2014. In 2016, she received her full coaching license and became the first woman to work as a coach at a Dutch professional football organization. When Wiegman joined KFC ’71 in 1987 she won the KNVB Cup that year .
Anson Dorrance, the then-USWNT head coach, invited Wiegman to come to North Carolina in 1988 for the FIFA Women’s Invitation Tournament and play for the Tar Heels women’s soccer team, which she did in 1989. At North Carolina, she played alongside stars like Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, and Carla Overbeck.
When she returned to the Netherlands after a year in the United States, Wiegman described the team quality and working conditions as “of the highest level,” making for a stark contrast to the situation in the Netherlands, where all women’s players had to work in addition to football. Wiegman became a physical education teacher, a job she would keep for the rest of her playing career.
As a member of the Netherlands national team from 1987 to 2001, Wiegman scored three goals, including one as captain, and was a member of the squad that won two Dutch championships and one KNVB Cup. She retired in 2003 after being pregnant with her second child.
On 23 May 1987, at the age of 17, Wiegman made her international debut against Norway, which was Dick Advocaat’s only match in charge of the Netherlands Women. She also helped the Netherlands reach quarter-finals in the 1989, 1991 and 1993 European Champions Leagues.
The first Dutch woman to play 100 times, Sarina Wiegman was honored by men’s head coach Louis van Gaal two days after she earned her 100th cap against Denmark at home. He said: “I have a lot of admiration for Sarina. For the men, everything is organized. Here, this is much more difficult.”
Her final international game was a 2–0 loss to the Czech Republic on 14 June 2001. It later emerged that five of her caps were against non-FIFA affiliated opponents, so her official cap total now stands at 99.
Since 2007 she has managed the women’s squad of ADO Den Haag, participating in the newly founded Women’s Eredivisie. In 2012, she led ADO to the Eredivisie championship and the KNVB Cup. In 2013, she guided ADO to another KNVB Cup victory.
For the Netherlands women’s national football team, Wiegman left ADO on August 1, 2014, to take on the role of assistant coach and national under-19 coordinator. On March 27, 2015, it was announced that she would be attending the KNVB course to obtain a coaching license, becoming only the third female coach in the Netherlands to do so, following Vera Pauw and Hesterine de Reus. On July 2, 2015, it was announced that she would have an internship at Sparta Rotterdam.
Wiegman was named interim head coach of the Netherlands Women on August 1, 2015, after the removal of Roger Reijners as the team’s head coach. This position remained open until Arjan van der Laan regained control of the team on October 1.
At Sparta Rotterdam, Wiegman completed the Dutch Football Association’s coaching course and a one-year internship in 2016. She stated in an interview with the KNVB that she hoped to help bring women’s football in the Netherlands up to par with men’s football, which she had witnessed firsthand.
As well as serving as interim head coach of the Netherlands Women, Wiegman was named Ole Tobiasen’s assistant at Jong Sparta Rotterdam (who play in the 2016–17 Tweede Divisie) on 3 October 2016. She was the first woman to hold this position in Dutch professional football. On 23 December 2016, Van der Laan was fired by the KNVB, and Wiegman was once again named interim head coach of the Netherlands Women.
Prior to the 2017 Women’s Euro, Wiegman was named head coach. The Netherlands had already qualified as hosts and were thus guaranteed a place in the tournament. The team’s spirits were down, however, after losing four of their previous five friendly games. Wiegman set out to boost the players’ self-esteem and transform the team’s playing style to one that was more offensive.
It was the Netherlands’ first European Championship title and first major honor in women’s football when they defeated Denmark in the Final 4–2. The team also received praise for their attractive playing style. The victory also marked the Netherlands Women’s first European Championship title. In 1988, in the Men’s UEFA Euro, Wiegman became the second Dutch coach to win a major championship, after Rinus Michels.
Two days after receiving the Best FIFA Football Awards’ Best FIFA Women’s Coach award, Wiegman was named a Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau alongside the rest of the European Championship-winning squad. On October 23, 2017, Wiegman won the Best FIFA Women’s Coach award ahead of Denmark coach Nils Nielsen and Lyon coach Gérard Prêcheur.
Ahead of next year’s World Cup, Wiegman led the Netherlands to the final, where they were beaten 0–2 by the United States of America. During the tournament, the team’s style of play was lauded once more. On July 9, 2019, it was announced that Wiegman’s portrait will be placed to the statue garden of the Dutch Football Association, KNVB, in honor of her services to Dutch football.
She is the first non-British permanent Lionesses manager. Prior to it, in 2005, the team had a perfect 13-0 record versus the Hungarians. At Wembley Stadium in London, Wiegman led the Lionesses to victory in the final of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022, defeating Germany 2–1. This was Wiegman’s sixth match in charge, and she kept her perfect record with the Lionesses intact, outscoring their opponents 53–0 during that time.
Marten Glotzbach, Sarina Wiegman’s husband of more than two decades, is the father of her two children. For twenty years, Marten, Sarina’s spouse, has worked as a trainer and coach for several football organisations in and around The Hague and Westland in the couple’s native Netherlands.
After graduating from the KNVB with a degree in Marketing in 1994, he went on to become a professional football coach (or the Royal Dutch Football Association in English). Later in his career, he also served as an instructor for the organization. Marten is a secondary school economics teacher and football coach in the The Hague region, having earned a Bachelor of Education degree in 2009.
Sacha and Lauren are the names of Sarina and Marten’s two children. Lauren plays for the young ADO Den Haag squad and Sacha plays for Sports Club Monster, much like their parents.
When she shared a picture of herself and her family at Christmas 2020, Sarina said, “What a year…!” in the caption. a new way of life, a new way of working, and no people in the stadiums. We’ve missed you so much! In 2020, it has become even more obvious that health is not self-evident. I hope you have a great Christmas and a joyful, healthy, and lovely New Year!