As the Women’s World Cup kicks off, Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema faces the tournament from a different perspective.
Absent due to her ACL injury, Miedema is experiencing the World Cup not as a player, but as an ardent supporter.
- The Women’s World Cup begins with Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema sidelined due to a serious knee injury.
- Miedema reflects on her emotional journey and shows support for her teammates despite being unable to participate.
- She emphasises the spirit of the World Cup, focusing on football’s impact on equality, inclusion, and global unity.
A major cog in the Orange machine, Miedema finds herself sidelined due to a serious knee injury, but her spirit remains unbroken.
“Today the World Cup starts for my teammates. I’ve been to the camp a few times and feel they have started something special,” Miedema wrote on social media.
For Miedema, this World Cup represents a new experience. She’s on the ‘other side’ now, trading her boots for the fervour of a fan.
“Even though I’ve known for about seven months that I won’t be able to play in this World Cup, it was still quite tough and emotional (yes, I’ve cried a few times so far) watching the first few matches,” she confessed.
While Miedema may be missing from the lineup, her passion for the game and the tournament’s core values shines through her message.
“I hope this World Cup shows you what football is all about. It’s about fighting for equality and inclusion, nations coming together, inspiring young girls (and boys) to play football and bringing joy to people around the world,” she said.
Indeed, the World Cup goes beyond showcasing sporting talent. It’s a global stage where nations unite, promoting a positive impact on society and inspiring the younger generation.
As she admits, Miedema’s journey has come ‘full circle’ – from a young girl supporting the OranjeLeeuwinnen, to a star player who represented her country on the world stage, and now, back to a supporter, albeit temporarily.
“But mainly to enjoy all the matches with great saves, incredible goals and fantastic football. So I think the circle has come full circle, from supporting as a little girl, to playing several tournaments myself, back to supporting the OranjeLeeuwinnen this World Cup,” she shared.
The Netherlands won their opening game of the World Cup on Sunday 1-0 over Portugal thanks to a goal from Inter Milan’s Stefanie van der Gragt in the 13th minute.
Arsenal’s Victoria Pelova and former Gunners Danielle van de Donk (Lyon), Jill Roord (Manchester City), and Dominique Janssen (Wolfsburg) all started.
Pelova was subbed off in the 90th minute with a match rating of 7.6.
In the first match of the day, Arsenal’s new arrival, Amanda Ilestedt, clinched a dramatic win for Sweden in their World Cup opener, scoring her first World Cup goal and earning the Player of the Match award.
As the game seemed headed for a frustrating draw, Ilestedt headed home the decisive goal in the final minute, securing a 2-1 win over South Africa.
Ilestedt wasn’t the only Gunner on the pitch. Stina Blackstenius also made her mark in the game before being replaced in the 65th minute, with Lina Hurtig joining the action as an 88th-minute substitute.