April Heinrichs: "dreams can come true"
Although she denied it, an emotional U.S. coach April Heinrichs was in eloquent mood at the post-match press conference after her side's 2-1 gold medal victory over Brazil in Athens. With tears rolling down her cheeks, the former player paid tribute to the teams' "famous five", the skill of the Brazilians and after winning her first world title, her own future.
Openly, without being posed a question:
"I feel as if the stars, the moon and sun lined up right now for us to win this gold medal. It is entirely appropriate for the girls who have poured out their hearts so that more can follow. These girls are athletes who can push a ball around with all parts of their body except hands. It is a brilliant ability.
There are a couple of players in the Brazil team who captivate you. I saw their team in the U-19 world championship in Canada and their rise to the top four in the game was always a question of whether the Brazilian Federation was prepared to invest in women's football. I compliment Brazil for giving us such a great game tonight.
On Abby Wambach (winning goalscorer):
Abby epitomises our team - she is powerful and wilful. Their number 3 (Monica) was marking her and for the first time in the tournament, Abby struggled in the air. Their number 3 was getting a piece of Abby and a piece of the ball, in the spirit of the game by the way. But full credit to her she didn't get down on her game. We asked her to make a decoy run at corners to take the 3 out and to free someone else as well as varying the delivery. Her goal was a perfectly executed play.
On the legacy of the five (Hamm, Lilly, Chastain, Foudy, Fawcett) from 91:
We didn't talk so much about the five ahead of the game. The Germany win was an emotional day for us and we travelled most of the next. We didn't think it was appropriate focus to talk about that and Lindsay (Tarpley) and Abby scored the vital goals today.
But we could talk for three hours about the five who have been around for 17 or 18 years. It's appropriate they finish on top. They have received speculation, been questioned about whether they were still at the top of their game and yet again they have responded.
On having some luck in winning:
You have to be confident in your technical ability. Our defence was great tonight. I think Kate (Markgraf) had her best game and I know Christie (Rampone) did, with a superb job on Marta. If we were lucky tonight, we have been unlucky in the past.
On winning your first world championship:
I am overwhelmed. It was the players that rose and rose again and had belief in themselves and in each other. They had the magic.
On staying on as coach:
It's like asking a pregnant woman if she wants have another child. Now is not the time.
On weighing up winning gold:
I don't consider myself as eloquent but (pause) it's like part Cinderella, part fairytale, part dreams can come true because our programme can definitely be called a dynasty - to be in the top three of every world championship and in the final of ever Olympic tournament. We have effectively been world champions four times - more books should be written about us. It would be all about character, goal setting, belief, overcoming adversity, unity, hard work, getting fingers dirty can solve inadequacies. If you stick your mind to something, it can happen."