Outgoing Germany coach Silvia Neid believes victory in the Olympic final represents a new high point for the nation’s women’s football team.
In the final match of Neid’s 11-year stint as coach, Germany beat Sweden 2-1 at the Maracana on Friday to secure a first Olympic gold.
Dzsenifer Marozsan opened the scoring early in the second half and then hit the post with a free-kick that led to Linda Sembrant putting through her own net.
Stina Blackstenius responded for Sweden, but Germany held on to leave Neid understandably delighted.
“We have won other titles but this is definitely a new summit for German’s women’s football as we have never won the gold medal at the Olympic Games before,” said the 52-year-old.
“I don’t have any words to describe it properly, but when you reach your goal it is just that moment of pure joy. It doesn’t matter if it’s a World Cup, European Championship or Olympic Games, this is what you’ve earned from your weeks and months of hard work. It is a dream come true. It is crazy.”
Neid insisted it would not be a wrench to step aside as coach, adding: “It is very easy for me to hand over the reins to someone else. It is easier when you make the decisions yourself.
“For 34 years I have been in women’s football as a player, trainer, co-trainer. Now I want to do something different.
“I am going to dance and sing and it won’t matter if I’m a little bit out of key.”
Sweden coach Pia Sundhage, who coached the United States to victory at the previous two Olympics, urged her players to remain upbeat.
“After 90 minutes it is a little bit of an empty feeling, but I said to the players afterwards we need to enjoy this silver medal,” said Sundhage, whose side beat the USA and Brazil on penalties to reach the final.
“I think we have won the silver medal, not lost the gold. We played very well against the best teams in the world.
“We can look back and be proud and then it is easier to get a smile on your face.”