32. Sherida Spitse
Possibly one of the most understated and indeed underrated players in the game until 2017, this year changed everything for Sherida Spitse.
After returning home to FC Twente after a three-year spell with LSK in Norway, Spitse was a vital part of a Netherlands midfield that won Euro 2017.
Taking on the role of captaincy after Mandy van den Berg was dropped from the starting eleven, Spitse led from the front. The 27-year-old stepped up to score crucial penalties in group stage wins over Denmark and Belgium, but popped up with the most important goal of her career against the former later in the tournament.
With the final against Denmark poised at 2-2, Spitse found the bottom corner to put the Dutch ahead again, a lead they never let go off.
Dominique Janssen, Netherlands team mate says:
“Sherida is an honest person, she is the connection between the defence and the attackers. Her passing is really good and she knows how to turn a free-kick into a goal. The specialty of Sherida
Renee Slegers, Netherlands team mate says:
“Sherida’s diagonal balls are the nicest I have seen in women’s football. She has so much control and a really nice technique. Above all, she is a winner.”
Priya Ramesh, Dutch football writer says:
“It is possible that had Tessel Middag not sustained a heartbreaking injury in the lead-up to the Euros, Sherida Spitse may not have been a part of Sarina Wiegman’s first-choice XI to start at the Euros. In the end, Spitse wore the armband for most of the tournament, and scored the crucial goal in the final, when the game was tied at 2-2 to put the Netherlands back in the driver’s seat. A set-piece specialist, Spitse scored some excellent, smart free-kicks in addition to providing a sense of calmness in possession.”