BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year Anna ‘Vivianne’ Miedema has the distinction of being the leading goalscorer in the history of the Football Association Women’s Super League (FA WSL) and the Netherlands national team, male or female. Miedema, 25, joined her current club, Arsenal Women, from Bayern München Frauen in 2017 and has since scored 117 goals in 144 appearances. Internationally, she has scored 92 goals in 108 appearances.
Born in Hoogeveen, in the northeastern Netherlands, on July 15, 1996, Miedema was still only 14 when she signed her first professional contract with SC Heerenveen Vrouwen. She made her senior debut on September 2, 2011, aged 15 years, 1 month and 19 days, thereby becoming the youngest player ever to play in the Vrouwen Eredivisie.
Most recently, Miedema captained the Netherlands in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, eventually losing 2-0 to defending champions the United States in the final. She also played a leading role in the Arsenal side that won the FA WSL in 2018/19 and, before that, won the UEFA European Women’s Championship with the Netherlands in 2017 and the Frauen-Bundesliga twice with Bayern München Frauen, in 2015 and 2016.
Miedema was out of contract and, hence, able to leave Arsenal on a free transfer in the summer of 2022. However, she eventually signed a new contract with the North London club, citing the arrival of head coach Jonas Eidevall in June, 2021, the increased freedom she has as a playmaker, rather than an out-and-out goalscorer, and the strength of the Women’s Super League as the principal reasons. She did also mention that she will be the highest paid women’s footballer in the country.