“Like a trauma,” says Sarina Wiegman, “the English want to win the football tournament so badly.”

Last summer, the Lionesses won their first major title. This was just one year after Gareth Southgate’s men lost to Italy in the Euros.

Wiegman told BBC Sport’s Natalie Pirks, “What I really noticed is that people want to win so badly that it was almost a trauma.”

“When we won, everyone was so happy and the excitement was so high, it’s been amazing.”

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At Wembley, a record 50 million people watched the Lionesses beat Germany, which had won the World Cup eight times in a row.

The final had more than three times as many viewers as the 2017 final, which had 15 million.

Now, Wiegman will take the Lionesses to the World Cup this summer in Australia and New Zealand. The team will be under a lot more pressure and scrutiny.

“There are really high expectations, and yes, we do have a dream,” she said.

“It’s hard to tell what will happen in a competition. I think there are still a lot of strong countries that are still favorites, and I think we’re one of them.”

England’s 30-game win streak ended in April when they lost to Australia. This made the team feel sad for the first time in a long time.

Wiegman said, “It’s fine if you keep winning, even if you’re tired and keep winning.” “But now we really knew what it was like to lose.

“Perhaps we did need it to move forward and learn. You learn something from every game, but I think these lessons were on a higher level because we lost.”

Wiegman played football for the first time on the streets of The Hague with her twin brother because there were no teams just for girls.

In 1986, when she was 16, the Netherlands called her up for the first time. She went on to be the first Dutch woman to play 100 times for her country.

At the time, it wasn’t possible to make a living teaching women’s football, so Wiegman became a PE teacher.

“Being a physical education teacher has helped me because you learn a lot about coaching because you’re always teaching kids and football players how to do things and what words to use,” she said.

“You learn so much about teaching and all the things that come up about organization, leading a team, and leading a group.

“I think that has helped me become a better coach.”

When the Women’s Eredivisie was created in 2007, she got her first full-time job as a coach at ADO Den Haag. She had turned down the job when it was offered on a semi-professional level.

After seven years at Den Haag, Wiegman became an assistant coach for the Netherlands national team and then their head coach.

She moved to England in 2021 after helping her home country win the Euro and reach the final of the World Cup in 2019.

The Dutch woman said, “I think we should always know where we came from, where we are now, and where we want to go.”

“But we should also never forget where we came from, and we should always be thankful for how things have changed.

“I don’t take things for granted, but it becomes normal that this is my workplace and that Wembley is also my workplace. For many people, it’s a dream to get there.

“I’m thankful to be able to work here, and I don’t take it for granted. But now it’s my job, and I’m just doing it.”

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