Arsenal Women’s Vivianne Miedema: ‘I didn’t feel appreciated’ at Ballon d’Or

Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema says ‘I didn`t feel appreciated as a woman footballer’ at Ballon d’Or by Michelle

Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead were both nominated for the prestigious Ballon d’Or Feminin this year.  Viv and Beth, who are partners, attended the ceremony together with Beth Mead coming 2nd to Barcelona’s Alexis Putellas who also won the award the previous year.

I didn’t feel appreciated as a woman footballer there, she told the BBC’s Behind the Goals podcast.

If they want to have women involved, they have to do it in a different way.

They had five or six different awards for the men’s game while the women only have one. If they want to make it equal, they have to give the same awards to men’s and women’s football.

Six of the categories at the 2022 Ballon d’Or ceremony honoured male players only, including the main eponymous trophy won by Karim Benzema, the Kopa Trophy best young male player, the Yashin Trophy for best male goalkeeper and Gerd Muller Trophy for top men’s goal scorer.  The Club of the Year Trophy is decided across both men’s and women’s teams, while the inaugural Socrates Award went to Sadio Mane for his charity work.

Only the Ballon d’Or Feminin is solely dedicated to women’s football.

A picture caption from the red carpet described Miedema as being with a nameless “guest”.

Vivianne said: Waking up the next morning and that picture pops up, that states the issue we had the night before.

We’ve got the number two from that year, who should arguably have been number one, turning up to the event as ‘my guest’. That would obviously never happen if Messi and Neymar had been walking next to each other.

We obviously joke about it, but that shows there are so many improvements to be made, it needs to be organised so much better.

The Dutch international, who has 115 caps for the Netherlands and with 95 goals is the top goal scorer for her national team (across men and women) and the top goal scorer in the Women’s Super League for Arsenal, said that while she and Mead could laugh at the gaffe, it also illustrated how women’s football is still disrespected in some areas.

I agree wholeheartedly with Miedema’s point of view.  Women footballers should have and equal opportunity of receiving Ballon d’Or awards across the categories.  What are your thoughts on the subject?

Michelle Maxwell

Follow Michelle on Just Gooner Women on Twitter for regular updates on the Arsenal Women’s Team!

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  1. It’s a sad picture and Miedema painted it right.
    I hope the powers that be take her points into serious consideration.

  2. I agree with some of the points she makes. Why not have just as many awards as the male athletes? They play the same sport after all. Quite silly to not nominate and award or at least acknowledge the same categories.

  3. I passionately believe in the concept of equality of opportunity for all, irrespective of gender or any other perceived so called difference.

    But REALITY tells us that womens football is NOT equal in standard to mens and never can be. THAT begs this question: should two unequal sports be treated equally in every way?

    The sheer lack of JA general uninterest in all Michelles articles about our womens team gives the REAL ANSWER to that question.
    Equality of opportunity is one thing and is necessary. But an obvious LACK of equality of achievement, of quality and also of even basic world wide or even social media interest, means that mens and womens football is NOT equal and, in quality at least, never can be equal.

    As finance paid out in wages is based, at least in theory,
    on incoming finance, then wages will never be equal, no matter how theoretically “unfair” that is seen to be.


    1. Women may never earn as the men, but I don’t see why the achievements of the top women should not be celebrated as much as the men.

      Just a quick example, since 1928, there has been a Mens 100 metre Gold Medal AND a Womens 100 metre Gold Medal awarded to the fastest of each sex.
      If they were forced to race against each other the women would never win anything, does that make the woman Gold Medal Winner any less of a celebrity?

      1. Pat I do not disagree with your post, at least in theory.

        I was merely pointing out some football facts. However I DO think your choice of analogy between an individual sport and the worldwide most popular TEAM sport throws up several practical distinctions, and as you will allow, I call myself a REALIST, as I live in the world as it is and merely HOPE for the changes I recommend.

        I was simply trying to point out some basic facts to certain Gooners, esp the ones who rarely think before posting their “thoughts”!

        If only theory COULD become practicality, overnight! But realists know it never can. It can however EVOLVE into reality, when humans, enmasse, are evolved enough to accept that needed change.
        But not until! REALITY, MY FRIEND!

  4. Everytime I read one of Michelle’s posts it is about a women football player complaining.

    Maybe Michelle likes reporting on complaints for some sort or controversy but when someone always complains I really get enough of them and they lose respect and I could therefore careless what they think no matter how important.

    Example, I would have liked Klopp to be our manager one day, but this guy just moans about everything and it makes him seem like a sore loser.

    Michelle, maybe try writing an article where these women football players don’t moan about the men’s game, I mean you don’t see men complaining about women football.

    I agree to an extent with Jon, although I don’t think he might agree with what I have written.

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