"They brought me here to score goals and when I don't score I hear about it. I think they're happy with me now."
Vivianne Miedema, master of the understatement. Her six goals at the 2014 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship were celebrated with ever increasing delirium and leaping delight by her Netherlands team-mates; the No9 herself made do with a smile and raised arm. For the sixth, the only goal of the final against Spain, she jumped a little, too.
Miedema almost did not play in Norway. She only turned 18 on the day of the opening game but was already a senior international with 11 goals in ten caps. She had just joined FC Bayern München, too. Club and national coaches agreed Miedema should travel, though she did so with a groin injury that ruled her out of a game on her birthday.
The forward was soon making up for lost time, scoring twice and forcing an own goal within 24 minutes of her first appearance, against Scotland. Subdued by Belgium, she took the headlines again next time out with a scintillating hat-trick in a 4-0 victory over dark horses the Republic of Ireland.
So onto the final. The Dutch spent much of it on the back foot and both coaches agreed that Spain were the better team; crucially, though, the Netherlands had a Miedema. With 21 minutes gone she was released on the inside right channel and, spotting Sara Serrat off her line, Miedema almost nonchalantly chipped in for her sixth goal of these finals – no one else managed more than two.
"Right foot, left foot – it is all the same to me. I just shoot with whichever foot is nearest." So why no celebrations? "Of course I am happy, but I celebrate a bit less enthusiastically than the others. That's just me." That was just Miedema.
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