Saturday 06 July 2019, 11:49

Ellis and Wiegman: A closer look at the Final's coaches

  • Ellis and Wiegman ready to lead USA and the Netherlands in the Final

  • Only second time in history that two women will be in dugout for the decider

  • THE LATEST: #USANED Live Blog updating now

One was voted FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football in 2015, and the other picked up the equivalent award two years later, and on Sunday 7 July 2019, USA coach Jill Ellis and her Netherlands counterpart Sarina Wiegman will cement their status as leaders in their field when they walk out with their teams for the Final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™.

It is only the second time in the history of the competition that two women will be in the dugout for the showpiece match, an achievement that puts them in pole position for The Best FIFA Women’s Coach award, to be presented at The Best FIFA Football Awards in Milan on 23 September.


The USA 2003 Final saw Tina Theune’s Germany get the better of Marika Domansky-Lifors’s Sweden side, the only previous occasion on which two female coaches faced off in the tournament showpiece. As fate would have it, Germany and Sweden were also in opposition on the next occasion two women led their teams out for a major tournament final, when Silvia Neid and Pia Sundhage went head to head in the gold medal match at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016.

Trainerin Marika DOMANSKI LYFORS/SWE gratuliert DFB-Trainerin Tina THEUNE-MEYER/GER 

Coaching honours

Jill Ellis:

  • Concacaf Women’s Championship: 2014

  • Algarve Cup: 2015

  • Winner of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015

  • Concacaf Women’s Coach of the Year 2015

  • FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football 2015

  • Runner-up, The Best FIFA Women’s Coach 2016

Sarina Wiegman:

  • Dutch second division championship: 2007

  • Dutch Eredivisie title: 2012

  • Dutch Cup: 2007, 2012, 2013

  • UEFA Women’s EURO: 2017

  • The Best FIFA Women’s Coach 2017

  • Runner-up, The Best FIFA Women’s Coach 2018

Their seasons so far

Jill Ellis

  • Winner of the Concacaf qualifying competition for France 2019 (five wins out of five, 26 goals scored, none conceded)

  • France 2019: six wins in six matches (against Thailand, Chile, Sweden, Spain, France, England)

Sarina Wiegman

  • Group runners-up in the European qualifiers for France 2019

  • Winner of the European play-offs for France 2019, beating both Denmark and Switzerland 4-1 on aggregate

  • France 2019: six wins in six matches (against New Zealand, Cameroon, Canada, Japan, Italy, Sweden)

What they said

Jill Ellis “When I started out in this career, my father said to me: ‘If you find something you really love doing, then it’s not a job. Obviously, you’re going to devote a lot of time to it, but if you really believe in what you’re doing, then it’s a passion’.”

“I’ve never had a career plan. When I began, this pathway wasn’t really open to women. I worked in the business world for a few years and I did some writing too, but my passion ended up taking me back to the pitch. An opportunity came up and I took it. I followed my heart.”

Sarina Wiegman “The situation has completely changed in the Netherlands now, which makes me happy and optimistic about the future. It’s fantastic to be part of that development. It’s easier for young girls to play now and they’ve got access to much better facilities. Of course, we can keep on making progress. There are still things we need to do to improve the day-to-day realities for future generations, but when I compare the situation now to the one I faced when I started out, I’m just filled with wonder.”

“What we need to do as women is show that we have the quality. It’s important that women have the chance to develop as players and coaches, in football and in society. Women need to have the courage to make choices and to take the necessary risks to occupy more senior positions.”