12 September 2009

Silvia Neid: the Greatest Women Footballer in Germany

As a player
Silvia Neid's career as a player began at SV Schlierstadt, later renamed to Klinge Seckach. She stayed with the club until 1983 when she signed up with SSG Bergisch Gladbach, then the dominant team in German football. She won the double with SSG in 1984, but moved to TSV Siegen after a titleless 1985 season. The club had its best years in the time Silvia Neid played for Siegen, winning six championships and five cups. When coach Gerd Neuser stopped coaching Siegen in 1994 Neid wanted to leave Siegen for SG Praunheim, but the club did not want to let her.
As an international she had her debut on 10 November 1982 against Switzerland, being swapped in in the 41st minute. She scored her first immediately after being on the field for only a minute and scrored another goal later in the game.
Neid won the UEFA Women's Championship three times (in 1989, 1991, and 1995) with the German team, and finished the 1995 World Championships as runner-up. Her last game was at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta against Brazil.
As a coach
Prior to becoming head coach, she coached the under-19 German women's national football team, winning the 2004 World Championship with them, and finishing the Women's Championship as runner-up. In 2005–06 Neid led the German team to the qualification for the 2007 World Championship. Germany defeated Brazil 2–0 in the final of the tournament. In 2008 she led the German team to the Bronze medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
The reign World and European Champions
The Women's European Championships concluded as almost everyone thought they would - with a German victory here in Helsinki. The 6-2 win over England gave the Germans their fourth women's Euro title in a row, German dominance of this event is total, with the team having won every single game they've played in the competition since 1999.
Development is the key to success
Silvia Neid's team have achieved this with an astounding level of support from their federation, the Deutsch Fussball Bund (DFB). Basking in the glory of her team's win in Helsinki, German coach Silvia Neid was quick to praise the backing women's football has received from the DFB.
"When we started in 82 in our first national team game, I was in that squad," the six-time European champion (three as a player, three as a coach) told the press. "At first we didn't qualify for the European championships, the first time we did that was in 89. We were underdogs then but we won that tournament. It's not surprising because we have good infrastructure, a good league, a good coaching network, a good scouting network and this victory is the result of that."
Development is the key word when talking about minority sports, and women's football is still, alas, a minority sport in Europe. Most of the teams would like better resources and more media attention. Finland's Jessica Julin gave a mid-tournament interview lambasting the lack of coverage given to women's football. She'd previously complained that - in contrast to Finland's men's team, who travel first class - the women had to 'wake up at three in the morning to catch the cheapest possible flight.'
Tale of the tape Date of birth 2 May 1964 Place of birth Wallduern, Germany Youth career: 1975-1980 SV Schlierstadt Senior career: 1980-1983 Klinge Seckach; 1983-1985 SSG Bergisch Gladbach; 1985-1986 TSV Siegen National team: 1982-1996 Germany (111/48) Story references: Photo references:

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