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“Meado the Enraged”, Martin Sjögren thanked, Wendie Renard annoyed

On the bill: England-Spain (9 p.m.)

The Spanish players during their victory (4-1) in the group stage against Finland on July 8.

After having a good time during the group stage (fourteen goals scored, zero conceded) of their Euro at home, England faces Spain, Wednesday July 20 in Brighton and Hove, during the first quarter-final of the competition.

The Spaniards, second in Group B behind Germany, will they manage to stop the steamroller driven by Sarina Wiegman, the Dutch coach of the English since 2020? On paper, the match looks like a David versus Goliath fight. Orphan of its star player and Ballon d’or 2021, Alexia Putellas, injured just before the competition, La Roja will have to rely on its collective strength, which it draws from the ranks of FC Barcelona, ​​​​unfortunate finalist of the Champions League against Lyon (3-1), to reverse the predictions.

The Lionesses have continued to confirm, over the Euro, their status as favorites, especially after their recital during the 2e day of the first round against Norway by Ada Hegerberg (8-0). The English are now on a series of seventeen games without defeat (fifteen wins, two draws). Semi-finalists in 2017, the captain, Leah Williamson, and her teammates intend to climb, at home, on the top step of the podium. The Spaniards have been warned.

Read also: Football: England bets on the Women’s Euro to affirm its status as a new heavyweight

Euro Star: Beth Mead, “The Enraged”

Beth Mead celebrates her third goal against Norway on Monday July 11 at Brighton and Hove in England's second group match (8-0 victory).

With five goals in three games, including a hat-trick against Norway, Beth Mead asserts herself as the star of this start to the Euro. Current top scorer in the competition, the English number 7 has managed to channel her temperament to practice her best football today. The Arsenal striker, who is coming out of an exceptional season with thirty-three goals or assists, was not selected for the Tokyo Olympics a year ago. She had retained a lot of bitterness. The fault of a little too much football ” aggressive “, had she been reproached. But Beth Mead has always had a volcanic temperament, since her first club appearances, alone among boys, in her native Yorkshire.

Today, at 27, the one her teammates nicknamed “Angry Meado” (“Meado the Enraged”) recognizes it: “I play my best football when I’m pissed off. » The arrival of Sarina Wiegman at the head of the selection in 2020 has helped her to channel her energy. Since the Dutchwoman has been on the English bench, Beth Mead – forty-one caps since 2018 – has scored eighteen times in sixteen games.

“She shoots and the ball goes between the posts and under the crossbar”had joked the coach, responding to a journalist who asked him, after the match against Norway, why Mead was scoring so many goals. “Beth is really very determined in front of the goal. Much more than most other players”added, more seriously, Wiegman.


“When the results do not meet expectations, the natural solution is to separate”

It is with these few words that Martin Sjögren, the coach of the Norway team, announced on Tuesday that he was shortening, by mutual agreement with the Norwegian Football Federation, his contract which ran until August 2023. In office since January 2017, the 45-year-old Swede failed to get Norway through the group stage, when the goal was to get a medal.

“We are all disappointed with the performances at the European Championship this summer”, said the president of the Federation, Lise Klaveness. While assuring that she did not want to point out individual responsibilities, she recalled that the extension until the 2023 World Cup of the contract of the coach (and his assistant, Anders Jacobson) had been accompanied by a requirement for recovery results. Norway had already been eliminated at the end of the first round at Euro 2017, before failing in the quarter-finals at the World Cup in 2019.

Piece of blue sky: breaking the curse of quarters

“You’ve been telling us for years: we stop at the quarters, we stop at the quarters, we stop at the quarters… So inevitably, there, the next few days, we’re going to be entitled to it. » It is an understatement to say that Wendie Renard, the captain of the France team, was annoyed, Monday evening, after the draw against Iceland (1-1) and at the time of discussing the next meeting. against the Netherlands, Saturday 23 July.

But the facts are there, cruel: the Blues have not managed to go beyond the quarter-final stage in an international competition (Euro, World Cup, Olympic Games) since the 2012 Olympics. “I don’t think we should focus on the quarter-finals. Me, I’m focusing on the team we’re going to meet. A new competition is about to start.”assured Wendie Renard. “New competition, new group, other players…”, also brushed off coach Corinne Deacon, adding: “No interest in rehashing the past, especially when it is not good. »


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