Vivianne Miedema - the undisputed phenomenon of female football
Vivianne Miedema, or to be very accurate - Anna Margaretha Marina Astrid Miedema - 23-year-old Dutch proffesional footballer who plays as a forward for Arsenal and the Netherlands women's national football team.
To be honest, Miedema is a player who, in my opinion, can be perfectly described with one word - a phenomenon. How else can you describe a player who before reaching the age of 23 achieved among others: Silver Medal at 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, Gold Medal at 2017 UEFA Women's Euro, FA WSL title with Arsenal (season 18/19). And if that wasn't enough, this year (2019), she became the all-time top scorer for the Netherlands women's national football team, across both the women’s and men’s teams.
I have listed only some of her achievements here. At age 23, the list of her successes is very impressive. In addition to the previously mentioned: winning the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich twice, internationally: winning the 2014 UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship. Individual: 2014 UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship Top Scorer, 2014 UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship Golden Player, 2016-17 UEFA Women's Champions League Top Scorer, London Football Awards Women's Player of the Year 2019, Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Player's Player of the Year 2018/2019.
Miedema started her senior career by signing for SC Heerenveen at age of 14 and made her senior debut at 15, she become the youngest ever player in the Eredivisie Vrouwen. She scored 39 goals for Heerenveen in the 2013–14 BeNe League season, and without a surprise she won her the top-scorer award. Over three seasons in SC Heerenveen she appeared in 69 matches and scored 78 goals in them. Before she even turned 18. That's incredible. A phenomenon. In June 2014 Miedema signed a contract with Bayern Munich. She won the Bundesliga title with Bayern in 2014/15 without losing any game. 3 seasons in Bayern - 61 appearances, 35 goals. In May 2017 Viv signed a contract with Arsenal. In 2019 she is obviously still an Arsenal player and does amazing things here. In the 18/19 season she appeared in 28 matches and scored 31 goals (20 games, 22 goals, 10 assists in WSL). Miedema finished the season undoubtedly as the top scorer in WSL. A phenomenon.
Speaking of an international career...
On 26th of September 2013, at the age of 17, Miedema made her debut for the Dutch national team in a 4-0 victory over Albania. A year later, during the U19 European Championship she led the Netherlands to the title by scoring six goals, became the tournament's top scorer and received the prize for the best player of the tournament. Since then, Vivianne's career has gained momentum. In the last elimination match for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup against Italy, Miedema scored all the goals and secured Netherland's first promotion to the World Cup in history (she scored 16 goals in the qualifications, the most of all players). She was named as "the most talented striker in Europe" for her achievements. Vivianne was also a key player during the 2017 European Women's Football Championship held in her homeland. Miedema scored the winning goal in the semi-final match against England and scored two goals in the final game against Denmark, which was enough for the Dutch to win their first ever championship title.
15th of June 2019 had to be very special day for the young player. On that day, month before she turned 23, she became the all-time top scorer of the Netherlands women's national football team after scoring her 60th goal in a 3–1 win against Cameroon at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. She passed the record held by Manon Melis and moved even further ahead of the men's team leading scorer, Robin van Persie. She helped to lead the Dutch team to the final, where they fell 2-0 to defending champions United States. A phenomenon.
I must admit that Miedema has an amazing talent for scoring goals. It's a gift. She's always in the right place at the right time to finish off her opponent with another goal scored. Her better leg is her right leg, but sometimes it looks like it doesn't matter to her at all when she launches a rocket from her left leg. Watching her in action on the pitch, it's easy to notice her calm in the penalty area. Getting the ball in the penalty box, she stays cool, she can move the ball from one leg to another, with a quick dribble or fake shot, put the rival on the ground and then make the shot. What's funny, you can also see that Miedema doesn't like to run too much. But you can't say she doesn't work hard. She works very hard on the pitch, she fights for every ball. You don't always have to run a lot, sometimes you only need cleverness and instinct, and these are the features Miedema undoubetely has. The footballer herself admitted in an interview that she doesn't like running. It's quite funny to hear such words especially from the striker. But I have already watched many matches, in which I saw Miedema walking on the pitch, and in a split second, very instinctively,she uses the mistake of the opponent and with full sprint runs to the ball and scores another goal with cool finish. Classy.
What makes Vivianne Miedema a fantastic player? A perfect "9" as we can say. She has great physical conditions, she is well built and relatively tall. She can protect the ball from the opponents. She has speed, a speed that allows her to leave most opponents behind her. In addition, she is very precise in her plays or shots, she is technically very good. Looking at her style of play, you might think she plays as number 10. And it's not surprising, because she started playing as a "10". It is perfectly visible when she breaks away from the defense line and for a moment runs for the ball to the midfield line to play the ball further. It is also important that Miedema grew up as a fan of Feynoord and her biggest idol is Robin van Persie. In interviews, she emphasizes that Van Persie is her hero. And I think you can see it on the pitch. She developed her left foot, although she is naturally right-footed. Miedema is very relaxed on and off the pitch as you can see. It looks like she has that laid-back nature. Watching her games, I often feel like I can't see her for the first 30 minutes of the game. I guess I know why. She's analyzing the opposite team. And when she will find some weakness of the opposing team's defence, she uses it ruthlessly. What is also noticeable, Vivianne spends a lot of time on working out space on the pitch. She is a very unselfish player, she looks for the space for herself and also creates space for her teammates. In the previous WSL season she has completed 11 assists (in addition to 31 goals scored). She plays unselfishly and likes to create space. The fact that Miedema is playing as 9, but she still has the summons from playing as 10, makes her an excellent forward, who is also able to assist and create goal situations for her teammates.
On December 1, 2019, in a FA WSL match against Bristol City Women, Vivianne Miedema did something amazing. Arsenal won 11: 1. Vivianne Miedema has been directly involved in all 10 of Arsenal Women's goals. She scored 6 goals and assisted 4 times. What is also worth noticing, the previous WSL record for goal involvements in a single match before that day was 5. What a surprise, also established by her in the match against Liverpool in September 2018. Then she scored three goals and made two assists. Absurd. And after the match, Vivianne Miedema remained Vivianne Miedema. As always. When asked about her performance in the post-match interview, she said:
"I don't even know what to say. Obviously getting a result like this is really good for us. I thought we played really well.I was actually happier assisting the other girls today. I love setting up goals. It just feels good. "
Unbothered. For her it's just a routine. But we have to admit this performance will go down in the history of the FA WSL. 6 goals and 4 assists. Unbelievable.
But maybe it's also worth focusing on what's off the pitch. Miedema can be a role model for the young players not only on the pitch, but in my opinion also off the pitch. She is open about her relationship with her teammate from Arsenal - Lisa Evans. Most people may not even notice that they are dating, but when someone asks her about her relationship, she is not ashamed to tell the truth. This is important in these times. It's year 2019 and we can agree or disagree with this, but everything goes on. Miedema paves the way for younger girls, it's very important to be a role model for others both on and off the pitch. Miedema inspires, in the era of the struggle for the equality of women in the football world, is a great example that this can be done subtly and gradually accustom people to the fact that football is also a female discipline. Either we get used to it or we go back intellectually to the level of the Middle Ages.
Let's hope Vivianne Miedema won't stop delighting us with her sophisticated style of play. Actually, we can be sure of it, it looks like she was destined for success. Such great achievements at such a young age, many years of playing ahead of her, and I hope that she will continue to inspire. So... Anna Margaretha Marina Astrid Miedema - thank you - for being such a modest player, such a great player, such a great role model for many people. Football wouldn't be the same without Miedema. She is writing a beautiful story in women's football. We are lucky to live in the times of such an amazing athlete.
A note from the author
I'm extremely happy that I can publish my articles here, but I want to leave the name of my own blog here because this is where I always publish them first: usualunusualmotivation.sport.blog