Vivianne Miedema, along with her Dutch teammates, has been named a federal ‘knight’ by the Royal Dutch Football Association.

Following the Netherlands’ women’s Euro 2017 win on home soil this summer, the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) have made the entire team federal ‘knights’.

Arsenal striker, Vivianne Miedema, is one of the women recognised for their amazing showing during the massive international tournament.

The 21-year-old, who signed for the Gunners from Bayern Munich in May, netted four goals in six appearances during the Euros. Two of which came in the final against Denmark, which the Netherlands won 4-2.

Miedema has been massive for her country, scoring 49 goals in 60 caps overall, which is simply amazing.

One step at a time

“This is the ultimate appreciation for a year in which the Orange Lionesses have achieved an unprecedented achievement,” said Jan Dirk van der Zee, the director responsible for women’s football at the KNVB.

“The team has put even more emphasis on women’s football in the Netherlands, and the impact on society has turned out to be great. This highest distinction within the football association is more than deserved and they can be very proud of that.” 

Miedema will be chuffed to be recognised for her efforts during the international tournament. Recently, she spoke about how unfair the gender pay gap is in football. According to her, the Dutch women’s team work just as hard and are now more successful than the men’s, so they should be paid the same.

“It’s really important as we put the exact same effort into our national side as the men do,” Miedema told the Guardian in November.

“I think you deserve the same. We are European champions. The men don’t even qualify for the World Cup, don’t qualify for the Euros. It’s fair to say we deserve as much money as them right now. All due respect but our men’s team make millions a year, way more than the Norwegian team. Our association is so rich and we hope we’ll get a better deal as well.”

The KNVB rewarding the Dutch women’s side is just one step towards the world taking women in sport more seriously.

As Van der Zee says, if their Football Association puts an emphasis on women’s football, society should start to follow.

Hopefully, they’ll even seek out information. With extra interest comes coverage and with more coverage comes funding.

I know we have to take it one step at a time and this is all happening excruciatingly late. However, at least we’re headed in the right direction.