Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema has been named 2021 BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year, underlining her status as one of the best players in the world.
The Gunners star, who is also nominated for the 2021 Ballon d’Or Feminin that will be presented on Monday evening, scooped the BBC prize ahead of Chelsea forward Sam Kerr and Barcelona captain Alexia Putellas, second and third respectively.
This year has seen Miedema become the WSL’s all-time leading goalscorer, while her Arsenal team have been in blistering form for much of the calendar year. She also set a new Olympic record for most goals at a single tournament – 10 goals in four games – at the delayed Tokyo 2020.
“It’s a bit unexpected to be honest,” the ever-humble Miedema told BBC Sport.
“It’s pretty cool to win something like this, and with the fans voting it’s extra special…Something like this always comes as a surprise,” she added.
“Having done really well at the Olympics on a personal level has brought a lot of attention to a lot of people, so that’s definitely been a standout for me and obviously I’ve been able to continue that form with Arsenal.
“[The other nominees] are all really good players who’ve had their own success at club and international level so I’m really honoured to have been awarded the player of the year and thanks to the fans.
“After coming back from lockdown, the excitement was there to play football again, to be back on the pitch and back in the stadium with the fans. It’s been very enjoyable.”
BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year was first presented in 2015 when it was won by Asisat Oshoala, then of Liverpool. Miedema’s Arsenal teammate Kim Little won in 2016, while Ada Hegerberg and Lucy Bronze have each won it twice. Miedema finished second to Bronze last year.