The gold medal was already the goal five years ago in Rio de Janeiro, at that time it was “only” enough for silver.

Since then, McLeod has led the Lions to a World Championship, a European Championship and now Olympic gold:

“I can’t find any more words, a dream has come true. When you have such a big goal in mind, you have to set other goals in between. That’s no surprise. We worked so hard. Lots of people watched our journey and this is a great way to end this chapter. ”

The 52-year-old New Zealander, who was named Coach of the Year in Belgium in 2019, is now taking a sabbatical year.

“That’s a good thing. You need a new voice, as I soon couldn’t think of any more stories to tell. As soon as I find new inspiration, I want to experience something different. ”The helm is taken over by his Dutch assistant Michel van den Heuvel.

“Belgium is a small country, and yet this team is brimming with argument and mentality,” said the New Zealander, for whom it was the last game at the top of the Red Lions after six years in office.

McLeod himself would not have thought it possible that he would say goodbye as a three-time title holder: “Such fairy tales are never written – nobody believes that anyway.


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