- Sarina Wiegman extends her contract with the Netherlands until 2020
- Named The Best FIFA Women’s Coach after leading the Dutch to EURO glory
- *Next challenges: qualifying for the FIFA Women’s World Cup and Olympics *
Sarina Wiegman, the reigning The Best FIFA Women's Coach, has extended her contract with the Netherlands until 2020.
The 48-year-old, herself a former international, will now stay at the helm of the European champions until after that year's Olympic Football Tournament in Tokyo. In the meantime, she will be aiming to lead the Dutch to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, with the team’s qualifying campaign set to resume on 6 April 2018 with a match against Northern Ireland.
Wiegman, who was already contracted until 2019, said of the extension: "I am very pleased. Last summer was of course a wonderful experience, for me, for the team and for the whole of Dutch women's football. Now we must focus on the future. There are two wonderful tournaments, the World Cup and the Olympic Games, coming up, and I am happy to be able to work with this team.”
Jan Dirk van der Zee, the KNVB’s Head of Women’s Football, said: "Sarina played an extremely important role in the success that was achieved last summer at the European Championship. This has given women's football a big boost in the Netherlands and we want to reward Sarina for that. Her qualities are undisputed and it is no coincidence that FIFA has chosen her as The Best FIFA Women’s Coach. With her at the helm, we are looking forward to the future.”
The decision will also be warmly welcomed by the Netherlands players, among whom Wiegman is a popular figure. Star midfielder Danielle van de Donk spoke to FIFA.com about her coach’s attributes earlier this year and made clear the esteem in which she is held.
"She’s a very normal person and I mean that in a good way,” said Van de Donk. “She’s very easy to talk to and will have a laugh with the players. She’s an easygoing person and also very caring in the way she deals with everyone. She wants everyone to feel happy and comfortable on and off the pitch, and it creates a really good feeling in the squad."