It is good that Vivianne Miedema is great at football. If she wasn’t, she’d be “a large disappointment”, she laughs, finishing Purpose’s sentence in an distinctive interview that celebrates her spot at No.2 in this year’s Intention 50.
The all-time major scorer in the history of the Netherlands nationwide group, and England’s Women’s Super League, Miedema grew up surrounded by the sport that would promptly take in her and, in time, that she would mature to dominate.
From her grandfather to her father to her young brother, anyone all over the Arsenal star in her youthful decades was football mad.
“I didn’t definitely have a chance to be truthful, it was soccer or practically nothing,” the 24-calendar year-aged laughs.
To say she has lived up to the anticipations that arrived with that upbringing though would be an understatement.
Not only has she absent on to build herself as a single of the greatest goalscorers in the world, but just one of the game’s most distinctive players, much too.
“Throughout the total household, we have constantly been No.10s, No.9s, both of them a bit in a mix,” she says, describing the participant she is today as “a 9 and a half”.
“I started as a 10. Then at one point, the nationwide crew didn’t definitely have a No.9, so they ended up like, ‘Go and play up prime and see how it goes’. Because the to start with video game, I hardly ever genuinely acquired absent.
“I feel you often want to be like your dad, or your huge brother or sister. He has surely affected me to be the No.9 I am these days.”
Scoring a 16-moment hat-trick on just her next senior visual appearance for the Netherlands, Miedema’s goalscoring abilities had been influenced by the goal-hungry heroes she idolised as a child, Robin van Persie and Ruud van Nistelrooy.
But the participant she is right now is considerably from both of individuals two. Deployed as a No.9, but normally performing like a No.10, Arsenal’s No.11 was not only the top scorer in the WSL previous season, but she also led the guide charts way too.
Considering the fact that leaving Bayern Munich a few several years back, doing the job with Gunners head coach Joe Montemurro has offered her the liberty to become one of the greatest players in the planet.
“In Bayern particularly, the way we played, I was a counterattacking No.9,” Miedema clarifies.
“A ton of extensive balls acquired punted ahead and they had been like, ‘Viv, go and operate with it’. It is really not seriously my design of perform.
“In the starting, I really struggled to realise that that crew desired anything else from me. In the very last two seasons, I thoroughly recognized it and I did it the way they needed to do it.
“But then, just after three many years, I realised I experienced to shift on for myself, to appreciate football and to be delighted. Arsenal has been the appropriate option.
“The way we enjoy, it is really fitting in with the way I want to participate in. [Montemurro’s style] just presents us liberty.
“Not just me, I consider a lot of gamers. We have got a lot of clever, technological players that need to have to have that little bit of freedom and will need to be ready to do what they believe at that minute is ideal.
“It just can make me love the sport and it makes me capable to have a ton of touches and to do what I want to do.”
Not only do Montemurro and Miedema’s ideas of soccer match, serving to Arsenal to declare their initial league title for seven yrs in 2019, but their personalities, far too.
“He’s most likely bored of me,” the ahead laughs, with her non-cease soccer mind possibly even as well substantially for a single of the most analytical and focused coaches in the recreation.
“We communicate a good deal about the way we engage in, the way other teams enjoy. It is not that I am going in and getting like, ‘this is what we need to have to do’. For the reason that he’ll just be like, ‘well, you can find the doorway, see you later’. But I believe it can be genuinely good to have all those discussions.
“I believe it can be actually superior to brainstorm with players, for him to question me how I felt that game, if we as a group sense like it’s doing the job, for the reason that I feel that’s the most important matter in soccer: to talk and to make sure you are on the ideal way.
“I look at a great deal of football. If it truly is the Italian league, if it is the South Korean league, I pretty much never care. I just enjoy it in any case.
“It’s nice to have a person that enjoys soccer a ton also and primarily our assistant mentor, Aaron [D’Antino], he loves football way too and we discuss about it a whole lot.
“I appreciate talking about soccer with him for the reason that we believe football needs to be performed the same way.”
That chemistry has performed a big element in receiving the finest out of Miedema.
In Arsenal’s well known colours, the 24-calendar year-old has 82 goals from as numerous games, as properly as a WSL title and Continental Cup trophy. The challenge now is to maintain that up although opponents do their very best to cease her.
“I believe it can be a great factor mainly because it implies that I need to come across techniques to hold improving upon myself, which I like. That, in the conclude, is why you want to engage in football,” she claims.
“A ton of the teams are person-marking me or no matter what they’re making an attempt to do, so I often have to have to locate a distinct way around it in each individual one game. It’s a great prospect for me to establish myself so I like it.”
That aim is standard of Miedema’s strategy to football. No make a difference what she achieves, she is also striving for a lot more and never ever standing nonetheless. It’s down in aspect to her unbelievable drive, and also her humble personality.
In spite of her achievement, this is a player who does not delight in remaining the centre of notice.
It is one thing that is witnessed practically each and every week in her iconic goalscoring celebration – that getting that she only doesn’t celebrate. A easy huddle with her staff-mates and probably a rapid smile, if it’s a special event, typify her character.
“It’s just about respecting your opponent and it is my task to rating ambitions, but it’s also just striving to concentrate on the video game and just to keep likely,” she points out.
“I’m from a tiny town in Holland and there is certainly no room truly for insane things.”
Miedema’s modesty does have just one disadvantage, although, in that she probably doesn’t give herself the credit rating she warrants.
To be the all-time prime scorer for her state and the most prolific participant in the historical past of the WSL, as effectively as a European champion and World Cup finalist with the Netherlands, at just 24 decades outdated is thoughts-blowing.
“I consider it can be the initial time ever in lockdown that you basically had time to [reflect],” she claims.
“I was reflecting on what we all obtained with the Netherlands, with Arsenal, individually, more than the previous pair years. Sometimes, me, and a ton of other gamers, need to be a bit extra appreciative of what we have realized and we really should be proud of it.
“I’m constantly that style of particular person and player that would not like to be standing in the highlight, that isn’t going to like to be the centre of interest. But in some cases I do consider I really should just convey to myself that I am executing great and I just require to maintain heading.
“I’ve performed distinct units at each and every one club I have performed for. I have also played in distinct leagues. I engage in at intercontinental stage, and it has surely created me a greater player.
“I sense like I’ve turn out to be a far more entire player than I have ever most likely been in advance of.”
With time on her facet, there is no telling how a great deal much better Miedema could get. Just one detail is for guaranteed, although: she’s certainly not been a disappointment.