Who is the greatest Dutch goalscorer of all time? Many would probably state Johan Cruyff or Marco Van Basten, while others might name Robin Van Persie or Dennis Bergkamp. However, the answer is much more surprising. The greatest international Dutch goal scorer is not a male player but a female. Probably most people don’t think of her as the first choice for an answer to this question, but the greatest Dutch goalscorer of all time on an international level is actually a female player - Vivianne Miedema. Moreover, she is only 22 years old.
In a way, Miedema can be referred to as the female version of Van Persie, who leads the chart for the men team. She grew up as a Feyenoord fan, and she even has a famous picture with him when she was a child. However, the link to Feyenoord is not the only reason to compare the two. In 2017, Miedema signed with Arsenal, one of England’s biggest clubs in female football. Arsenal ruled the league a decade ago with nine consecutive title wins between 2004 and 2012. However, the glory years were followed by several seasons of drought and Arsenal found its consolation in Miedema’s legs. In 2019, Arsenal was able to win the league again, led by Miedema’s tremendous goal-scoring ability, and led her to the top goal-scoring chart in England.
Alongside the local success, Miedema managed to lead the Dutch team to international glory, something Van Persie hasn’t managed to achieve. In 2017, the Dutch team won the Euro and Miedema scored in every single game in the knockout stage. It might not be so surprising since, from a very early stage, Miedema is used to withstanding pressure. When she was only 15, she made her debut in the Dutch female first division, becoming the youngest female player ever to do so.
Miedema scored the goal that enabled her to climb to the top of the list during this World Cup when she scored a brace against Cameroon in the group stage. Like in the Euros, 2 years ago, in this World Cup also she scored during the knockout stage at the quarter-final against Italy, and with an extraordinary career goal ratio of almost 1 goal per game, there is no doubt the Miedema is a threat to any defence and can be a potential game-changer in the clash against the strong American team.
Winning the first World Cup for a Dutch national team, especially against the best female team of all time, can be a lifetime achievement for the striker. However, a hint for Miedema’s wishful thinking can be found in a recent interview she had after topping the Dutch goal-scoring all-time list. Like her idol, Van Persie, she would like as well to spend some time in her favourite club, Feyenoord. She couldn’t do it in her youth, but recently Feyenoord has founded a female football club: “Who knows, Feyenoord as a closing party would be nice. About ten years from now.”