Sarina Wiegman says the appeal of heading up another ‘great country of football’ shaped the England boss’ job switch

SARINA WIEGMAN revealed she was considering leaving the Netherlands given the chance to manage the Lionesses.

The head coach, 53, said the lure of working in another “big footballing nation” was one of the appeals that attracted her to the role.

Sarina Wiegman says she took English football lessons as part of her preparation to become a coach with the Lionesses

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Sarina Wiegman says she took English football lessons as part of her preparation to become a coach with the LionessesPhoto credit: Getty
After their European Championship triumph in July, Wiegman and her players have their sights set on winning the World Cup

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After their European Championship triumph in July, Wiegman and her players have their sights set on winning the World CupPhoto credit: AFP

Wiegman spoke a day after a number of pundits, journalists and football fans debated whether a manager of the England national football team must be English.

Debate erupted amid reports of Gareth Southgate’s future after the Three Lions boss guided his side to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Qatar earlier this month.

On Tuesday, football pundit Jamie Carragher shared his opinion that national team gaffers should be English.

Meanwhile, some fans have highlighted Wiegman, who guided the Lionesses to a Women’s EURO crown, as an example of an overseas manager who has found success as England boss.

When asked if her nationality was a factor in her decision to accept her role, Wiegman said: “I thought about it when I first came into contact with England when they contacted me.

“I was the head coach of the Netherlands but my first thought was, ‘Can I leave the Netherlands? [as a country]I grew up there, it’s my country’

“Most of the time, when some people ask me if I’m interested in a job, after a few days just ‘No, I’ll stay in the Netherlands’ just faded away.

“But this one stuck with me. That’s very exciting.

“It’s a big country, England is a big football country with the WSL and the potential of the (national) team, so I started having talks.”

Since her appointment last September, Wiegman has led the Lionesses in 26 unbeaten games, with England winning their first major title in the team’s 50-year history this July.

Her cup success came five years after the Dutch-born head coach guided the Netherlands women’s national team to a Euro Championship victory on home soil

On her efforts to adapt to English culture after settling her role, Wiegman added: “Although the countries are very close, there are some cultural differences, so I really tried to learn.

The success of WSL and the challenge of managing a

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The success of WSL and the challenge of managing a “big football country” were factors that made Wiegman take her jobPhoto credit: Getty

“I took some English courses in football. I said I will learn about your culture and try to adapt to your culture but also bring the directness as you need to know what is good

“I’m not going to bypass or change that.

“I think it went really well and we had a lot of fun.

“I think the FA and the players and staff are enjoying it too and we have a very good working relationship. We can still grow a lot.”

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6919348/sarina-wiegman-england-lionesses-coach/ Sarina Wiegman says the appeal of heading up another ‘great country of football’ shaped the England boss’ job switch

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