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Germany's Silvia Neid looks to sign off with gold

Silvia Neid has won it all as a player and coach ... nearly. Only an Olympic gold has eluded her – on Friday she can end that wait in her final game as Germany coach.

Silvia Neid celebrates after Germany's victory in the UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2013 final
Silvia Neid celebrates after Germany's victory in the UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2013 final ©Getty Images

The most successful female coach of all time will end her 11-year spell as Germany boss after the women's Olympic final on Friday. UEFA.com takes this opportunity to look back on the stellar career of Silvia Neid.

Success as a player
Neid celebrated seven German championships and six German Cups in her playing days. When the German women's national team was first introduced in 1982, she was involved from the off. In 1989 she led them to European Championship glory, beating Norway 4-1 in the final. "Winning the European Championship was a pivotal moment for women's football in Germany," Neid later acknowledged.

This was followed by EURO titles in 1991 and again in 1995 – a year they were also runners-up at the FIFA Women's World Cup. Only a world title and an Olympic gold medal eluded Neid in her 111 international appearances. She scored 48 goals.

Success as a coach
As Tina Theune's assistant, Neid contributed to a further three European titles, as well as glory at the 2003 World Cup. On top of that were EURO and world titles with the U19s.

Neid took over as head coach of the national team on 1 July 2005 and was an immediate success, retaining Germany's title at the 2007 World Cup in China. "That was such a huge celebration for German football," she said. "I knew that even Brazil couldn't stop us." Then came bronze at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, as well European titles in 2009 and 2013.

Neid has collected plenty of individual accolades in her career, notably the Federal Cross of Merit (2007) and the Order of Merit of the Federal States of North Rhine-Westphalia (2011) and Baden-Württemberg (2013).

In 2010 and 2013 she was named FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women's Football. "I'm standing here alone, even though so many people have played their part," she said after receiving one of those accolades. "I'm delighted with this award, but I see it as recognition for women's football in Germany as a whole."

Neid's Germany face Sweden in the Olympic final
Neid's Germany face Sweden in the Olympic final©Getty Images

Looking back … and to the future
"When I think about it, it's a strange feeling," said Neid. "Thirty-four years! Thirty-four years as player, assistant and head coach. It's wonderful that I've been able to experience it all and I am proud of that, but now I am setting up a scouting department for women's football at the DFB [German Football Association]. You need to be able to realise when it's the right time to stop, and I want a new challenge."

The ultimate challenge is still to come, with Sweden standing between her and a first Olympic gold medal. Friday's final will be the last time Germany take to the pitch under Neid's management – victory would be the perfect way to crown a glittering career.