Several players were also decorated by the British Empire. Arsenal player Leah Williamson, who was named captain of the England team by Wiegman, became OBE (The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), the fourth rank. Other most important players such as Lucy Bronze, Beth Mead and Ellen White now carry the title MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), the fifth rank.
Mead is the partner of her Arsenal teammate Vivianne Miedema and was top scorer at the European Championship. Just like Miedema, she recently tore her cruciate ligament. Mead was also voted Sports Personality of the Year at the BBC’s sports gala in Manchester last week.
The Lionesses, as the English football women call themselves, crowned themselves European champions on July 31 of this year by beating Germany in the final. The first prize ever was extra special, because the tournament was organized in England and it was the first prize for the England women’s team. The final at Wembley was attended by nearly 90,000 spectators.
Before her adventure in England, Wiegman was national coach of the Orange Lionesses. She also won the European Championship in her own country in 2017 with the Netherlands, after taking over from Arjan van der Laan six months earlier. Two years later she reached the World Cup final, in which the United States won 2-0 in Lyon. After the Olympic Games in the summer of 2021 in China, Wiegman stopped with the Orange squad and went to work for England. There she is after a year and a half at 26 international matches, of which she won 22 and drew four. The goal difference is just as impressive at 125-7.