Ballon d’Or 2019: Here’s to you, Vivianne Miedema

After finishing fifth in the voting for the Ballon d’Or, behind players such as eventual winner Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, it’s about time we take a moment to think about the brilliance of Vivianne Miedema.

Vivianne Miedema had a fantastic 2019, there is no doubt about it. What’s more impressive is the manner in which she has done it.

Arsenal’s slagpen

slagpen – noun • [Dutch]: firing-pin, striker

Vivianne Miedema has amassed 44 goal contributions in all competitions between January 1 2019 and December 3. FORTY-FOUR.

That is just for Arsenal. Miedema commands a different kind of respect when she steps on the pitch for Joe Montemurro’s side.

Whenever she touches the ball, the expectation is that it ends up in the back of the net, with a depressed goalkeeper picking it out for the fifth time that Sunday afternoon.

(Photo by Kate McShane/Getty Images)

That was the reality for Sophie Baggaley, who conceded 10 goals thanks to the magic of Miedema when Arsenal ran out 11-1 winners over Bristol City.

Six goals and four assists for the Dutch dynamo earned herself more goal contributions in one game than either Megan Rapinoe or Alex Morgan had earned in the entire year.

The game against Bristol also saw Miedema pass 50 league goal contributions for Arsenal. In her entire Arsenal career, she has averaged 1.53 goals or assists p/90.

She’s only a goal away from crossing the 60-goal mark for Arsenal, too. She has 59 goals and 20 assists for the Gunners in just 55 appearances.

Champions League triumphs

Miedema’s not only performing on a domestic level, she’s showing the world what she can do in her first Champions League campaign with Arsenal.

The 23-year-old had played in the competition with Bayern Munich, but only this season has she shown what she is truly made of on the European stage.

She has 10 goals and an assist to her name in the Champions Leauge. Which is a mind-boggling 2.88 goals p/90.

(Photo by Kate McShane/Getty Images)

So far this campaign, Arsenal look like the only side that could possibly challenge Lyon for the Champions League title.

You have to believe that if they do win the Champions League, or even go deep into the competition that Miedema stands more than a chance of winning next year’s Ballon d’Or.

Although arguably, she should’ve won this one.

Team accomplishments

Despite her individual brilliance, Miedema has played a part in a few fantastic campaigns for the teams that she is a part of.

She helped Arsenal to a convincing league title win as Manchester City dropped off.

She guided the Gunners to the Continental Cup final, where they were undone by the aforementioned Manchester club on penalties following a 0-0 draw.

Not only that, Miedema was part of a Dutch side that came within 90 minutes of winning the World Cup. Sadly for them, it was a Megan Rapinoe penalty that made the Dutch heads drop on the hour mark.

That coming before Rose Lavelle sealed victory, and in turn, the USWNT’s fourth World Cup.

Miedema and Arsenal teammates Danielle van de Donk and Jill Roord were helpless as the Oranje Leeuwinnen could only manage a single shot on target during the entire game.

(Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images)

That being said, Miedema had a fine World Cup. She scored game-winning goals against Italy and Cameroon, plus her general aura lifts a team when she’s on the pitch.

The Netherlands have made a flawless start to their Euro 2021 Qualification campaign. Miedema has scored eight goals in the games that see them sit top of their group.

They look nailed on to be at the finals in 18 months time.

The most humble wrecking machine

Somehow, despite being one of the best footballers in the world, Vivianne Miedema seemingly hates finding herself in any form of spotlight.

Whenever she gets the opportunity, she passes the success of her team onto her teammates.

After scoring six, a double hat-trick, against Bristol, Miedema said: “I was probably happier with the assists today than the goals. I just felt really good and I am happy that I can help the team and happy that we won today”

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There is no other player like her in world football. Not a woman, not a man. Vivianne Miedema transcends gender with the amount of pure class that is oozing through her veins.

After Arsenal’s game against Bristol City, Miedema was asked about the Ballon d’Or. “I don’t know, fine,” she said. “I am not going to the ceremony, I am staying home and preparing for the Reading game.”

Good for her. At least she got to see the major farce that it was from the comfort of her own living room.