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New national coach: Pia Sundhage is moving to Switzerland

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New national coach: Pia Sundhage is moving to Switzerland

As of: January 16, 2024 12:03 p.m

The Swede Pia Sundhage succeeds Inka Grings as national coach of the Swiss footballers. Around a year and a half before the European Championship in Switzerland, the experienced FIFA world coach from 2012 received a contract with the SFV until the end of 2025.

As the host of the 2025 European Championship, the Swiss Football Association has scored a coup with Sundhage’s commitment. “It’s a privilege to be able to coach a team under this pressure. I love it,” said the 63-year-old Sundhage. Association president Dominique Blanc praised her signing as a “milestone in Swiss women’s football”.

The job is likely to be well paid. National coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, who was released last year, had worked as Switzerland’s national coach for a total of seven years before joining the DFB.

She is a real personality

With her experience and aura, empathy and cosmopolitanism, the popular Swede should actually have been a candidate for the German Football Association (DFB), which has to start looking for a coach after the Olympic Games at the latest.

Sundhage is a soccer teacher who inspires those around her with great enthusiasm. She is happy to sit down at the piano for everyone. Two days before the final of the 2011 Women’s World Cup in Germany, she even sang in a press conference as US national coach. However, the DFB can now remove her name from the list.

Coaching questions at the DFB can quickly arise

If interim coach Horst Hrubesch fails at the Final Four of the Nations League – semi-final in Lyon against France on February 23rd – then the coaching question would arise very soon. “We have to think in different scenarios. It’s our turn. I’m aware that it will be a task by which I will be measured,” said DFB sports director Nia Künzer at her presentation last Thursday (January 11, 2024). The new manager for the DFB women did not want to comment on names.

Colin Bell (South Korea national coach) and Jill Ellis (former world champion coach of the USA) are always traded. Bundesliga coaches such as Tommy Stroot (VfL Wolfsburg) or Stephan Lerch (TSG Hoffenheim) are said to have not yet been contacted.

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There are only a few German female trainers

It is considered impossible for the DFB to sign a candidate without experience in women’s football. Therefore, ex-national players like Miroslav Klose or Stefan Kuntz are out of the question. The supply of German trainers is thin.

After separating from Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, several players emphasized that age and gender should not play a role in the selection. “It’s important for us players that it’s a good fit both personally and professionally. It doesn’t matter what gender it is,” said goalkeeper Frohms just last month.

Failure with Brazil at the World Cup in Australia

Sundhage most recently coached the Brazilians; she celebrated her greatest successes as a coach between 2008 and 2012 with the selection of the USA. In 2011, Sundhage became runner-up in the world championships with Megan Rapinoe and Co. at the finals in Germany, and in 2008 and 2012 she won gold at the Olympic Games.

At the World Cup in Australia, however, the Brazilians she coached sensationally failed in the preliminary round against Jamaica. An inglorious farewell for world star Marta. Sundhage also seemed at a loss in the end.

Inka Grings was let go in November

Switzerland, on the other hand, made it to the round of 16 with a very pragmatic style. Inga Grings had trained her team on physicality and defense, but her ensemble lost 5-1 to eventual world champions Spain in the first game of the knockout round. After that, the failures increased.

The SFV separated from the 45-year-old in mid-November. Under the leadership of the former German international striker, there was only one win in 14 games. Since then, Reto Gertschen has been in charge of the selection on an interim basis. It is considered unlikely that Grings will appear on the DFB’s list of candidates due to her close connection to Voss-Tecklenburg – both were a couple during their active times.

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