England manager Sarina Wiegman paid tribute to her late sister following her side’s victory against Germany in the European Championship final.
It was a Sunday to remember for the Lionesses, who lifted their first piece of major silverware in front of 87,000 fans at Wembley as goals from Ella Toone and Chloe Kelly sealed a 2-1 win.
After the full-time whistle, cameras panned to an emotional Wiegman, who was seen kissing a bracelet on her wrist.
Image credit: AlamyThe 52-year-old explained later on that the bracelet had belonged to her sister, who died in June shortly before the tournament started.
She said: “I’m kissing this little armband that was my sister’s. My sister passed away during our prep camps.
“She would have been here. She would have been really proud of me and I would have been proud of her too.”
The manager went on to say she thought her sister was there for the game. She smiled, saying: “I think she was on the crossbar” – a reference to the moment Germany’s Lina Magull fired a shot towards goal which bounced off the bar.
The Lionesses had previously paid their own tribute to Wiegman’s sister, with the players asking if they could wear black armbands to signal their mourning for their manager’s personal loss.
Wiegman, who had been given time off from the pre-tournament training camp to grieve for her sister, said the offer showed her players were “such great people.”
She added: “It shows how close we are. It was a great gesture and I’m sure my sister would have been proud.”
Wiegman, who also led the Netherlands to European Championship glory in 2017, paid tribute to her England team after the final whistle. “We won the cup, and it is just unbelievable,” she said.
“If you really want to win, really want to become better every single day, you can do it and that is what I have noticed the whole year.
“We agreed on a couple of things about behaviour and they weren’t just words, we lived it and this is the result. It’s just incredible, they want to do it together.”
It is believed England will open talks with Sarina Wiegman over a new contract in the coming weeks.