Neid: we deserve some of the football cake
Germany's women footballers take on the Dutch on Thursday evening to start their European championship campaign. Trainer Silvia Neid is determined to take a bite of the championship cake. This makes her our German of the Week.
Neid was in the German team as either player or trainer for all their seven European championship titles, according to sports portal kicker.de.
The 49-year-old is not aiming necessarily for the top place, but is confident her young team should make it to the last four. "The team has earned it with its quality to be one of the top four," she told the Süddeutsche Zeitung.
"We are not talking about the whole cake - the competition is too good for that. But we certainly want a piece of the cake."
Neid was at the helm four years ago when the Germans took their seventh European championship title with a 6-2 victory over England.
She and her team enter the current competition with three victories in test matches against Scotland, Canada, and world champions Japan.
Neid played for her country in the 1989 European championships when they won the final 4-1 against the Norwegians.
"That was exciting," she said later. "We were on television for the first time, the stadium was sold out with 22,000 people and there were hundreds more outside."
A recurring injury in her left knee created problems for Neid as a player. "I had more stability with a bandage," she said. "I was always told I would have to retire at 25. I continued to play until I was 32."
She was also on the team in 1991 when they met Norway again in the European championship final - and won 3-1. The last goal came from Neid's foot.
It was 1996 before she left the field of play for the trainer's area, and got her license with the national team.
She was co-trainer to Tina Theune-Meyer when the national team took their fourth European championship title in 1997, beating Italy in the final 2-0.
And in 2001 the pair led the national team to defend that title at home, with a golden goal deciding the final against Sweden.
Her determination and focus are legendary. Talking of two players who did not immediately take her word as law, she said, "Sandra Smisek and Inka Grings said 'yes, but' to nearly everything. I lost it and said, 'Damn it, I don't want to hear 'yes, but' any longer - it is how it is."
The 2005 European championship which they won, was the last for Theune-Mayer, who handed over to Neid. She promptly won the 2007 world championship, took bronze at the Olympic Games in 2008 and again won the 2009 European championship.
This year's European championship is the first big tournament for the team since they flew out of the World championship in the quarter-finals in 2011 - at home. This barred them from last year's London Olympics, a disappointing couple of results.
But Neid said she was completely focused on getting her new, young team together. "It is simply fun to see the young ones," she said.