Vivianne Miedema has been named the Football Writers’ Association Women’s Footballer of the Year.
The Arsenal striker missed out on the award by a single vote last year but this time the Dutch star has claimed the accolade by the narrowest of margins.
She was pushed all the way in the voting by Chelsea’s Bethany England and follows Lionesses forwards Nikita Parris (2019) and Fran Kirby (2018) to be named the third FWA Women’s Footballer of the Year.
Chair of the FWA’s women’s sub-committee, Jen O’Neill, said: “This was a close-run decision because of the brilliant breakout season that Beth England had with the Lionesses and WSL champions Chelsea.
“However, Vivianne’s clinical efficiency in front of goal and her seemingly effortless poise, can mean her all-round ability and footballing intelligence are sometimes overlooked. She is a worthy winner and a world-class performer.
“With more assists than any other WSL player this season, she is also a valuable creator of openings for teammates; dropping to collect the ball and playing in others, or making space with her movement.
“Although a humble and laid-back character, she is also determined that the women’s game carries on breaking barriers, and she continues to co-author a series of children’s books to entertain and inspire young players in the Netherlands.”
The FAWSL’s Golden Boot winner for the past two seasons and leading scorer in the current UEFA Women’s Champions League competition, Miedema, maintained her stellar standards through 2019 and into 2020. She became the Netherlands’ all-time top scorer (male or female) when she netted her 60th goal at the World Cup in France last June, scoring three times for her country on their way to the final.
The Women’s Footballer of the Year is decided by a two-stage poll of a panel of experts, and although the season was suspended after the international break in March and could not be completed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the goal-grabbing form of the FAWSL’s top scorers Miedema and England put them clearly ahead of their peers in the first phase.
Miedema then carried her slight lead over England into the second stage so that the women’s award was decided by just a single vote (12-11) for a second successive year.
Chelsea’s Norwegian creative talent Guro Reiten and Lyon’s England full-back Lucy Bronze were joint-third, just ahead of Manchester City and England’s FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 Bronze Boot winner Ellen White.
Other players acknowledged in the voting by the panel were Steph Houghton and Lauren Hemp (both Manchester City), Erin Cuthbert and Sophie Ingle (both Chelsea), Rachel Furness (Spurs/Liverpool), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Lauren James (Manchester United), and Chloe Kelly (Everton).