Vivianne Miedema has made a home for herself in England at Arsenal and the defending champion believes the UEFA Women’s EURO is being staged in the ideal place to grow the game.
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It will come as no surprise to anybody accustomed to watching international football tournaments that Dutch supporters are among the top ticket buyers for Women’s EURO 2022 - only fans from England have bought more tickets than the Dutch.
The wall of orange-clad fans that accompanies Dutch teams across the globe is one of the enduring images of any tournament for which they qualify.
Forward Vivianne Miedema, who is closing in on 100 international goals despite being just 25, has seen first-hand how much her compatriots love to support their teams.
This summer, they are of course buoyed by the memories of 2017, when on home soil, the Netherlands won UEFA Women’s EURO 2017, creating a wave of euphoria across the country.
"Looking back, it was something that we really didn’t expect to happen," Miedema concedes. "Playing at the EURO in Holland was really special with all the fans and family there. And I think throughout the tournament, we just really thought that this is going to be our tournament.
"Obviously, in the end we won against Denmark in the final and since then, women’s football has been growing really rapidly. And in Holland, to be fair, we get sold-out crowds now. We’ve got an amazing fan base and I hope that we can continue our success over the coming years."
Women’s EURO’s global appeal
It is not just Dutch fans that will travel this summer. Indeed, fans from 99 countries have purchased tickets and are set to descend on England over the coming month to attend a tournament that has already broken sales records.
Miedema believes a strong performance from the hosts will help the tournament maintain the buzz that has enveloped England and ensure fans keep coming, both now and in the future.
"This summer is probably one of the biggest chances to put women’s football on the map," she says. "I think this is hopefully going to be the tournament. I hate to say it, but I want to see England do well because it will get people to the stadium, it will make the country itself feel really alive and I hope from there that we get our fan base coming to England because I do think that we’ve got the best fans in the world."