7. Vivianne Miedema
2017 was a year when Vivianne Miedema truly announced her talent to the world. The 21-year-old starred in the Bundesliga for Bayern Munich and Euro 2017 for the Netherlands, before joining Arsenal in the FA Women’s Super League.
Her 14 goals last season helped Bayern to second in the Bundesliga, but it was announced before the end of the season the young star would be leaving the club.
With her club future sorted, Miedema led the line for Sarina Weigman at Euro 2017, but it was a frustrating start for the youngster. Netherlands marched through their group with maximum points, but Miedema just couldn’t find the back of the net.
That all changed in the knockout rounds, with Miedema the key catalyst in the Dutch success story. She scored in the quarter-final against Sweden, headed in the crucial opener against England in the semi-finals before scoring a brace in the final against Denmark.
The Dutch had only been trailing three minutes when Miedema tapped in Shanice van de Sanden’s cross, before she wrapped the match, and the trophy, up with minutes to go to send the Netherlands into raptures.
It would be fair to say Miedema hasn’t yet fully settled into life at Arsenal, but has found the net twice during an inconsistent start to the season for the Gunners. With new manager Joe Montemurro now in place, Miedema will be hoping for more goals in 2018, but she won’t forget this year in a hurry.
Shanice van de Sanden, Netherlands team mate says:
“Vivianne is a very talented and technical player who scores a lot of goals, she’s been doing it for years already. Whether it’s for her club or for the national team, it’s impressive at the age of 21.”
Loes Geurts, former Netherlands team mate says:
“Vivianne showed her qualities already from a very young age, and even though there has been a lot of pressure on her, she kept developing. I think she will continue to grow and develop as a striker with the potential to become one of the world’s best.”
Renee Slegers, Netherlands team mate says:
“She was young when she first came to the national team. In 2014, we played World Cup qualifiers together and even though she was young, she was already such a smart player and it was fun to play together with her. When we were doing a finishing exercise she would say that it’s really easy – just put the ball in the free space. This was obviously nothing new for me, but still I have always remembered what she said and it helped me in my finishing.”
Priya Ramesh, Dutch football writer says:
“A Van Nistelrooy-esque header from a young woman who grew up idolising Van Persie and Dirk Kuyt was what it took for the Netherlands to break the deadlock in their semi-final vs England at the Euros. There were high expectations for the illustrious 21-year-old going into the summer, and after struggling initially, Miedema came to life in the knockout stages. eventually finishing just one goal behind Jodie Taylor.
“Despite her young age, Miedema has also emerged as quite a vocal proponent of equal pay in the national team for the men and the women, giving a very candid and impressive interview to the Guardian recently, as the Dutch women enter negotiations with the KNVB. Injury lay-offs as well as being played out of position on the wings under Pedro Losa has meant that the flying Dutch forward has not quite gotten the electric start to life in England on the pitch that she may have expected. However, with Taylor leaving Arsenal for Seattle Reign, there may be more opportunities come the New Year for Miedema, who surely still has a very bright future ahead of her.”