Arsenal's Miedema named BBC Women's Footballer of the Year

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BBC Women's Footballer of the Year 2021: Vivianne Miedema profile

Netherlands and Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema has been named BBC Women's Footballer of the Year 2021.

Miedema, who came 2nd down England defender Lucy Bronze for the 2020 award, is some the Netherlands' and Women's Super League all-time starring goalscorer.

The 25-year-old besides broke the grounds for astir goals scored astatine a azygous Olympic Games astatine Tokyo 2020.

"It's a spot unexpected to beryllium honest," Miedema told BBC Sport.

"It's beauteous chill to triumph thing similar this, and with the fans voting it's other special."

Australia and Chelsea guardant Sam Kerr came 2nd and Spain and Barcelona midfielder Alexia Putellas third.

The different nominees connected the five-player shortlist for the BBC World Service grant were Canada and Paris St-Germain defender Ashley Lawrence and Norway and Barcelona winger Caroline Graham Hansen.

Vivianne MeidemaMiedema was amazed with the grant by her Arsenal team-mates

Miedema's 2020-21 play saw her marque past with the Netherlands astatine Tokyo 2020 arsenic she scored the astir goals astatine a azygous Olympics successful the women's event. Although the Netherlands mislaid to the USA successful the quarter-finals, Miedema's 10 goals successful 4 matches was a caller record.

With Arsenal - for whom she has scored much than 100 goals successful each competitions - she cemented her spot successful Women's Super League past erstwhile she broke Nikita Parris' all-time goalscoring grounds successful October 2020, arsenic good arsenic helping the Gunners to Champions League qualification.

She was besides nominated for WSL Player of the Season and the Fifa Women's Best award.

"Something similar this ever comes arsenic a surprise," Miedema said.

"Having done truly good astatine the Olympics connected a idiosyncratic level has brought a batch of attraction to a batch of people, truthful that's decidedly been a standout for maine and evidently I've been capable to proceed that signifier with Arsenal.

"[The different nominees] are each truly bully players who've had their ain occurrence astatine nine and planetary level truthful I'm truly honoured to person been awarded the subordinate of the twelvemonth and acknowledgment to the fans.

"After coming backmost from lockdown the excitement was determination to play shot again, to beryllium backmost connected the transportation and backmost successful the stadium with the fans. It's been precise enjoyable."

Miedema, who has already scored 13 goals for the Gunners this season, continues to marque past successful 2021-22 and precocious became the archetypal subordinate successful the WSL to people against each squad she has faced.

Arsenal are presently undefeated successful the WSL and apical of the array with 7 wins and a gully from 8 games.

The Dutch guardant is besides among the nominees for this year's women's Ballon d'Or and successful the summertime hopes to correspond the Netherlands again arsenic they look to clasp their European Championship title, having won the tourney successful 2017.

"That's the large 1 - it's our trophy to defend," she said.

"As a player, that's the tourney you play for, that's what you privation to amusement yourself astatine and beryllium a portion of arsenic a team."

When asked whether she had a favourite infinitesimal from the past 12 months, she said: "It's a hard one, to beryllium honest. I deliberation the Olympics was truly peculiar for america to beryllium portion of specified a large tournament.

"I deliberation the Chelsea crippled was truly special, the archetypal crippled astatine home. And each the goalscoring records, they're conscionable determination to beryllium breached and I anticipation idiosyncratic other volition interruption them successful the future, but for close present I conscionable bask being connected the transportation with this bunch."

England's all-time starring goalscorer and Arsenal fable Kelly Smith said Miedema's grant was "fully deserved", adding that the striker had been "outstanding" successful the past 12 months.

"She is simply a large finisher and leads by example," Smith said.

"She's specified a menace and galore teams can't halt her, and that's a world-class player. I would person loved to person played with her - she has been outstanding and she's had a large season. The players she's been up against are top-quality, world-class players too, but it's afloat deserved successful my opinion."

2015: Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria)
2016: Kim Little (Scotland)
2017: Ada Hegerberg (Norway)
2018: Lucy Bronze (England)
2019: Ada Hegerberg (Norway)
2020: Lucy Bronze (England)
2021: Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands)
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