Silvia Neid, who will step down as Germany coach in 2016, has been part of all eight of their UEFA Women's EURO triumphs. She looks back at those wins from 1989–2013.
Silvia Neid will step down as Germany coach in 2016 after a quite incredible run as a player and manager.
A victorious player in 1989, 1991 and 1995, she then moved up to assist coach Thina Theune in 2001 and 2005 before taking charge for the 2009 triumph (having already retained the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2007) and repeating that feat in 2013, setting some standard for Steffi Jones to match in 2017. Neid takes a look back at her unique collection of continental triumphs.
1989: final, 4-1 v Norway, Osnabruck
"We played the semi-final in Siegen, and that was where I lived and played football. It was a home game for me, and it was full of drama, because we won against Italy on penalties. It was very emotional. Our goalkeeper took one penalty and saved the next one. Then you could see her cry tears of joy with her son in her arms. It was a great memory; it was the first time that women's football was broadcast on TV.
"That game full of passion made people come to see our final in Osnabruck, and we were not the favourites at all, but we won against Norway – a big score as well, 4-1. There were 25,000 spectators there and the stadium announcer, I can still remember this, he asked people to move over in the stadium because there still were so many people outside who wanted to come in. As players, we all heard that during our warm-up. It was a great thing and we were very proud to win the first European title, because no one expected that from us; it was the real breakthrough as far as women's football in Germany was concerned."
1991: 3-1 aet v Norway, Aalborg
"Norway at that time were the number one in women's football. Sweden were the first team to win the European Championship and the Scandinavian countries were a step ahead of the southern European countries. We always looked up to them. I remember that our coach always said that we needed more power, more athleticism, more strength. Those teams were the leaders in that.
"About my goal, I remember that it was in extra time. I scored the third ... a back pass came from the left side, I remember that I wanted to put the ball in the goal, but it wasn't possible because the keeper was standing right in front of me. I needed to think a little bit, and I hit it in the right corner. It seems pretty easy, but I thought quite a lot about it. Then it was 3-1. And of course we had done it again, we were European champions again in 1991. The joy was huge."
1995: 3-2 v Sweden, Kaiserslautern
"The stadium was full, and we became European champions for the third time. It was a great achievement, I think we had a very good team, and we were the favourites. It was a very exciting game, played at a very high level. And I think in the end we were the better team.
"We became European Champions again, for the third time. So it wasn't the case any more that we looked at Scandinavia, but Scandinavia started to look at what the Germans were doing – why are they becoming so good?
"Our coach Gero Bisanz found a good mixture between technique, tactics and athleticism. He was one of the first coaches to start working in women's football at such a level. He did a great job, said the right things, and managed to put in the right players at the right time."
1997: 2-0 v Italy, Oslo
2001: 1-0 (gg) v Sweden, Ulm
2005: 3-1 v Norway, Blackburn
"I did my apprenticeship in 1997 and my practical training over six weeks. In Germany, you must do practical training of six weeks or two months, and I did mine with Tina Theune. I then came back with a European title, because we won again in 1997. Then the joy was huge in my class. It was very nice. Of course, I learned a lot during that time with Tina Theune-Meyer, as far as coaching was concerned. I was still more of a player than a coach, but I developed more and more in that direction. It took a few years before I was really on the other side."
2009: 6-2 v England, Helsinki
"It was a perfect tournament, because we ended up winning the title. But I also remember very tight games. For example, the final, 6-2 against England. Everyone says afterwards that it was an easy win, but the game was anything but easy until the 60th minute. It was an even game. We kept taking the lead and England kept equalising. It was very close, and I remember that we were never in command until we scored the fourth goal."
2013: 1-0 v Norway, Solna
"It's special in a way because so many young players were involved in the team. We grew together, not just the players and coaches but the rest of the staff as well. That's a very heart-warming feeling and for that reason this tournament and this title mean something special to me."