Who is Vivianne Miedema? BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 2021

Arsenal and Dutch forward Vivianne Miedema has been named as the 2021 BBC Women’s Footballer of the year for her outstanding work both with club and country.

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Vivianne Miedema, 25, came second to Lucy Bronze for the 2020 award but her achievements in the 2020/21 season and at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have not gone unnoticed and Miedema was able to take the 2021 award home.

Miedema is the all-time leading goal scorer for both her country and the Women’s Super-league. At this year’s Olympics, she took a record-breaking 10 goals in four matches which is the most goals scored at a single Olympic games.

Speaking after receiving her award, Miedema said “It’s pretty cool to win something like this, and with the fans voting it’s extra special.

Having done really well at the Olympics on a personal level has brought a lot of attention to a lot of people, so that’s definitely been a standout for me and obviously I’ve been able to continue that form with Arsenal.”

Kelly Smith, England’s all-time leading goalscorer and Arsenal legend, said the award to the Dutch player was “fully deserved.

She’s such a threat and many teams can’t stop her, and that’s a world-class player. I would have loved to have played with her- she has been outstanding and she’s had a great season.”

Who is Vivianne Miedema?

Miedema was born in Drenthe, Netherlands in 1995 and started playing football at just five-years-old after she had watched her dad play.

She started playing for the local club and at the age of 14 she made the decision to switch from playing with the boys’ club to playing for the top women’s league.

The star forward signed her first professional contract with SC Heerenveen when she was 14 making her senior debut at 15-years-old against FC Utrecht and she became the youngest ever player in the league.

At the end of her first season, despite being one of the youngest in the league, she was the second-highest goal scorer in the league with 10 goals from 17 matches.

Who has Miedema played for?

Miedema stayed in her home country until 2014. 39 different clubs had inquired about the striker but it was Bayern Munich who made the final deal.

During the 2014/15 season, she was part of the Bayern team that remained unbeaten in the Frauen-Bundesliga and won the title for the first time since 1976.

In her time at Bayern, Miedema was also the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League top scorer.

Having initially struggled with the language barrier, it was ultimately Bayern’s long ball tactics that drew her away from the German side.

Despite multiple efforts from the Bundesliga side to keep their Dutch star, Miedema ultimately made the move to Arsenal in 2017.

In her second season with the Gunners, Miedema scored 22 goals making her the WSL top goal scorer of the 2018/19 season. The 25-year-old also won the PFA Women’s Players’ Player of the Year and her club won the title for the first time since 2012.

In her 2019/20 season, Miedema was shortlisted for the Ballon d’Or Feminin in which she finished in fifth place.

On 18 October 2020, the dutch forward became the first player to score 50 WSL goals, overtaking Nikita Parris who had previously held the record for the highest number of goals in the WSL with 49 goals to her name.

Miedema and England and Manchester City’s Ellen White are now in a continuous battle to constantly overtake each other with their goal scoring record.

On 9 September 2021, after 110 games in all competitions, Miedema scored her 100th goal for Arsenal and she is also the first player in the history of the WSL to score against every team she has faced.

Miedema and the Netherlands

Miedema made her debut for the Netherlands women on 26th September 2013 and scored her first goal a month later in a FIFA World Cup qualification match against Portugal.

The Netherlands advanced to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and Miedema was the overall top-scorer in the qualification campaign.

In 2019, Miedema became the all-time top scorer for the Netherlands after scoring her 60th goal in a 3-1 win against Cameroon at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. Not only did she pass the record previously held by Melis, but she also extended her lead over the men’s team’s leading scorer Robin van Persie.

Miedema continued to break records at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, scoring ten goals in four matches.

What other awards has Miedema won?

Along with her Club titles with Bayern Munich and Arsenal, Miedema has an exceptional accolade of individual awards.

In 2014 she was the UEFA Women’s Under-19 Championship Golden player. She then went on to win a number of awards between 2018 and 2020 and most recently won the Her Football Hub Player of the Year.

Not only does she have a long list of personal awards, but her personal records are lengthy as well. In the WSL she holds the record for the most goal involvements (75), most goals in a single game (6) as well as most goal involvements in a single game (10) to name just a few.

In 2017, 2018 and 2019, the Dutch player, who has long been argued as one of the greatest strikers in modern women’s football, was named in the top 10 of The Guardian’s The 100 Best Female Footballers in the World.

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