There will always be arguments over the winner of the Ballon d'Or. This year, the major omission in the women's top three is an Arsenal star who's scored 22 goals in 13 starts so far this season, and marked her epic 2018-19 campaign with the Golden Boot, the PFA Player of the Year award as well as some great performances for the Netherlands at the Women's World Cup.
Still, Vivianne Miedema is unlikely to be losing any sleep over her lack of recognition at a glitzy awards evening.
After she put in a 70-minute shift on Sunday for her club against Bristol City, scoring six times and providing four assists as she helped them to a 10-0 lead, she told reporters:
I am not going to the ceremony, I am staying home and preparing for the Reading game. Obviously it is an honour when people are voting for you, but it doesn’t really do much for me.
Miedema's utter devotion to winning matches - and unfeigned lack of interest in pretty much anything else - has made her a fascinating figure in the FA Women's Super League, where she has graced Arsenal's Meadow Park pitch for two and a half years now. She has an unerring eye for goal, brilliant vision and creativity, and the same single-mindedness that makes her the best striker in the world means she won't be courting any off-the-field spotlight, nor schmoozing or stepping on to a red carpet for the paparazzi. All she cares about is success for her team. Any spectator will have noticed by now that she does not celebrate after scoring; that's because she sees it simply as doing her job, and there is no need to make a fuss about it. She does not keep count of her goals; she just wants to win.
The 23-year-old admitted she was pleased to win the PFA Player of the Year award, as it was an honour presented by her peers; to finish fifth in the Ballon d'Or - much to the chagrin of many WSL followers - will, one suspects, not have bothered her at all.
The Ballon d'Or voters may have failed to acknowledge Miedema's superlative form, but football fans around the world must not miss out on these prime years of one of the most stunningly gifted women currently in action. Award ceremonies might ignore her; she may shun the spotlight; but the statistics speak for themselves. Vivianne Miedema is the best.
Carrie Dunn is the author of The Pride of the Lionesses: The Changing Face of Women's Football in England