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V. Miedema

'It wouldn't happen to Messi or Neymar' - Miedema unimpressed with Ballon d'Or awards' lack of recognition for women

18:03 WAT 14/12/2022
Miedema Arsenal 2022-23
Arsenal forward Vivianne Miedema has criticised the Ballon d'Or and claims they do not treat women's footballers fairly.
  • Miedema criticises Ballon d'Or awards
  • 'Didn't feel appreciated' at ceremony
  • Calls for greater equality

WHAT HAPPENED? The Dutch forward attended this year's ceremony with partner and Ballon d'Or Feminin runner-up Beth Mead, but has since criticised the institution and the ceremony for its treatment of women's footballers. Seven awards were presented across the male game on the night in October 2022, but only one award exists within the women's game. Miedema voiced her thoughts on the ceremony.

WHAT SHE SAID: Speaking on the BBC's Behind the Goals podcast, she explained: "I didn't feel appreciated as a woman footballer there.

"If they want to have women involved, they have to do it in a different way," Miedema added: "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."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Ballon d'Or Feminin award was only introduced in the 2018 iteration of the ceremony in honour of the best female player of the year, with Norwegian Ada Hegerberg winning the inaugural prize. Barcelona's Alexia Putellas saw off Arsenal's Mead to clinch back-to-back Ballons d'Or in 2022, where the runner-up was also egregiously described as Miedema's 'guest' in a picture caption on the night.

Miedema commented on the impact of the mistake: "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."

IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR MIEDEMA? Having just returned from a rest break, Miedema is back to her scintillating best for Arsenal in their domestic and European push for silverware.