Former U.S. coach Pia Sundhage was the very deserving winner of her first FIFA Women's Coach of the Year award at the 2012 Ballon d'Or gala after leading her side to an Olympic gold medal at the London Olympics last summer. Wearing a sparkly shirt that read "Sweden in 2013" in support of her new gig as coach of her native country, Sundhage first thanked her staff and then concluded by saying, "I look at Alex [Morgan] and Abby [Wambach] and all your teammates I have only one thing to say..." She then belted out an a capella version of Bob Dylan's "If Not for You."
It was a fitting moment from Sundhage (and the best musical performance of the night), who sang Simon and Garfunkel at a press conference during the 2011 Women's World Cup and "Jailhouse Rock" after her final match with the U.S. She often used her music to keep her players relaxed in times of stress, so it was only proper for her to show the rest of the footballing world the power of a singing manager. Arsene Wenger, take note.
This was only the beginning for the U.S. women at the ceremony, though. With two of the three finalists for the FIFA Women's Player of the Year award in Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach, they were able to defeat five-time winner Marta as Wambach won it for the first time. She, however, did not sing.
UPDATE: Sundhage gave an encore performance in her interview after accepting the award. This time, she sang Tina Turner's "Simply the Best." Have a look...
- Sports & Recreation
- Pia Sundhage
- Abby Wambach
- Alex Morgan