Hege Riise set to become England Women interim boss after Phil Neville exit

Hege Riise replaces Phil Neville as Lionesses boss until Sarina Wiegman comes in to take the job on a full-time basis in September; Riise has previously worked as assistant manager of the successful USA women's national team and is Norway's most capped player of all time

Hege Riise
Image: Hege Riise was considered to be one of the best players of her generation and is one of only three women in the world to win the World Cup, the European Championships and Olympic gold

Hege Riise is set to become England Women interim manager after Phil Neville left the role to join David Beckham's Inter Miami, and her appointment will be announced in the next 24-48 hours.

Riise, 51, has previously worked as assistant manager of the successful USA women's national team and enjoyed an impressive playing career, knocking up 188 caps for Norway, the most in the country's history for both men and women.

She won Olympic gold with Norway at the 2000 Olympics - as well as the 1995 World Cup and 1993 European Championships - and will take charge of the Lionesses until Sarina Wiegman, current boss of the Netherlands, comes in to take the job on a full-time basis in September.

Neville, 43, had been due to leave his England role in July but his move to the United States forced an early exit on Monday - and with Wiegman due to remain in her current post for this summer's rearranged Games in Tokyo - the FA have opted it bring in Riise for the short term, despite no current scheduled fixtures for the Lionesses.

Neville was due to lead hosts England - who have not played since March 2020 because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic - into the Women's Euros next year, but he stepped down after it was postponed until July 2022.

In a statement, Neville said: "It has been an honour to manage England and I have enjoyed three of the best years of my career with The FA and the Lionesses.

"The players who wear the England shirt are some of the most talented and dedicated athletes I have ever had the privilege to work with. They have challenged me and improved me as a coach, and I am very grateful to them for the fantastic memories we have shared.

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Phil Neville 1:28
Phil Neville 'brought a winning mentality' to England Women, says Sue Smith, as the FA confirm he has left his role as head coach ahead of his expected move to take charge at Inter Miami.

"I'd like to thank The FA for the tremendous backing they have given me, in particular Sue Campbell and my talented support staff whose energy, commitment and enthusiasm has been crucial to helping us make the progress we have.

"I wish England Women every success in the future and look forward to following their journey in the years to come."

Lucy Bronze in action for England against Norway 0:51
England defender Lucy Bronze says she is looking forward to working with incoming head coach Sarina Wiegman when she starts in September 2021

Neville's departure also means the FA need a replacement to manage the Team GB women's football team for the upcoming Olympic Games. Neville was set to lead Team GB, but was never officially confirmed in the role.

The FA remain the home nation association who will provide the manager for Team GB women's team after they were nominated to do so in consultation with Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Team GB do not select the head coach of any sport competing at the Olympics and it is instead left to the national federation or association for that sport - football, in this instance - with the FA beginning their search imminently.

Other Team GB Olympic sports have lost head coaches in lead up to a Games before, such as Shane Sutton, who left his role at British Cycling 10 weeks before the Rio Games in 2016.

Who is Hege Riise?

Considered to be one of the best players in the women's game for her generation, Riise has been a trailblazer in her native Norway, becoming the most capped player of all time for both men and women with 58 goals in 188 caps.

She retired from international football in 2004 having won the World Cup, the Euros and Olympic gold - and the previous year the Norwegian Football Association named her the best female Norwegian footballer ever.

Riise played for Carolina Courage in the United States, twice named the team's Most Valuable Player.

She made the move into coaching in 2007, becoming head coach of Team Strømmen in Norway, leading them to a second-placed league finish in 2008 and to a cup final, where they finished runners-up.

Riise then led Norway U23s before she moved into the USA women's national team set up, serving as their assistant boss for thee years from 2009 to 2012, before moving to Norwegian club LSK Kvinner where she won six successive league titles from 2014 to 2019.

Nominated for the FIFA Best Women's Coach award in December 2020, she lost out to Wiegman, who will replace Riise at the England Women helm in September.

'Wiegman will win trophies for England'

 Sarina Wiegman 0:33
Andries Jonker says Wiegman coaches with a similar style to Johan Cruyff

Former England international Sue Smith is confident Sarina Wiegman will lead the Lionesses to their first major tournament success when she takes charge later this year.

England have reached the semi-finals of the past two World Cups and the final four of Euro 2017, where they were beaten by a Netherlands side managed by Wiegman.

Her appointment, Smith told The Women's Football Show on Sky Sports, will have been made with bringing an end to the silverware drought in mind.

"She's been brought in to do that because England have been so close on so many occasions," she said.

"When we lost to Japan [in 2015] to an own goal that was so close and even when we were beaten by the United States [in 2019], who are a great side, it was all about the small margins - Steph Houghton's missed penalty, the offside goal.

"Whether it's about tactics or a winning mentality, she has something that can take England on to win something and you have to believe that.

"When a manager comes in who has already won things, as a player you look to them and you want to learn from them because you want to win things too."

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