The Best FIFA Women's Coach Awards 2016

Silvia NEID
Silvia Neid
Legendary German coach Silvia Neid has ended a remarkable career by reaching the peak of her profession for the third time, twice more than any other coach in women’s football. Having been involved in each of Germany’s eight European and two FIFA Women’s World Cup™ wins as either a player, assistant coach, or head coach, Silvia Neid’s biography reads like a never-ending list of triumphs. She capped off this remarkable record in 2016 by leading her country to their first gold medal at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in Brazil. The Rio 2016 final was Neid’s last game as national team coach, bringing an end to this impressive era and seeing her hand over to Steffi Jones, who has an unenviable task as her successor.

The Finalists

Jillian ELLIS
Jill Ellis will always be a part of USA’s successful history in women’s football, as she led the Stars and Stripes to 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup glory and picked up the 2015 FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football award. However, 2016 will not be a year that will live long in the memory of the nation’s program, as no major honours were won. Ellis, who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the College of William & Mary, is in the midst of writing a new, successful chapter in the country’s football history, as she is coaching the next generation with an eye on success at the 2019 and 2023 Women's World Cup competitions. The next two years will be crucial for Ellis, as she looks for a reboot following the team’s failure to finish with a medal at the Women's Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016.

Swedish coach Pia Sundhage enjoyed another period of success in 2016. After failing to progress past the Round of 16 at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ with her homeland’s national side, she and her team were forced to navigate a play-off tournament to secure the final ticket to the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016. The Swedes prevailed over their rivals with seven points from two wins and a draw before progressing from the group stages, as one of the best third-placed teams. Sundhage’s side subsequently dispatched world champions USA and fellow contenders Brazil on their way to the final, where they ultimately succumbed to Germany. For the 56-year-old, who won two Olympic gold medals as USA coach, this silver medal marks a positive step on a long journey she is keen to take with Sweden.

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