2018 Women's AFCON: Who is Nigeria's Asisat Oshoala really?
In our previous article, “Heroes Without Capes”, we gave you a list of women to look out for in the 2018 Total Africa Cup of Nations. This article was quite objective in giving bits of credit to each of the five women that we covered. Unfortunately, there was only so much we could say which is why we want to give attention to one of the players we featured; Asisat Oshoala. We want to shed light on who she truly is.
Started from the Bottom
Asisat Oshoala is a 23-year old striker who has always been the athletic child who derived joy from sports. She is from Nigeria and she kicked off her soccer career with FC Robo Queens which is a Lagos based team. She later transferred to Rivers Angels where she led them to being the champions in the 2014 Nigeria Women Football League. In 2013, she had been crowned the best player in the league.
Her playing capabilities did not just end at club level, as she then got herself a spot on the Nigerian national team for the 2010 and 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup where she would then fly the Nigerian flag high .
In 2014, her dream to play at international level was realised when she joined Liverpool Ladies. She expressed joy at the opportunity to be in a team with other fantastic players where she will be groomed to become a global phenomenon. Just like all great players, she soon became the envy of other teams. In 2016, Liverpool had to unwillingly release the player to Arsenal Ladies. Even though her stay with Arsenal was relatively brief, it was long enough for her to win the English Women FA Cup. Right now, she is currently playing in the Chinese Super League with the Dalian Quanjian FC. Like we have seen, playing for the sake of it is not her style, she rather excels, she has been voted the Best Striker in the Chinese Women’s Super Cup. This is after she also emerged as the top goal scorer in the Women’s CSL.
Well Deserved Accolades
Above the titles that she has won in the different leagues, she has also received recognition at continental level. She won the 2017 African Women's Player of the Year award. To get this award means that you are not just great when playing for your team or your country, but the face of all the women soccer players in Africa and you are unquestionably amazing on the pitch. In 2015, she was also named BBC’s Women Footballer of the Year. Even earlier than that, she was recognised as the most valuable player at the U20 World Cup in Canada 2014.
Golden at Heart
Even though Oshoala’s career is unquestionably glimmering, she has not in any way forgotten where she comes from. She recently donated a bus to her inaugural team FC Robo Queens which is a Lagos based team. This bus will be used to transport team members to soccer matches in style and comfort.
She also bought her parents a mansion worth an undisclosed amount. In spite of how much the house is worth, it is her spirit to always give back to the people who have lifted her on their shoulders to place her where she is, that we truly appreciate.
It is not possible to give full credit to this amazing striker in an article. She defined her passion at an early age and pursued it until it became every female footballer’s envy. Thank you Oshoala for inspiring African women to work hard for the things they want while not forgetting their roots!