Celebrating Africa’s best, Asisat Oshoala

Asisat Oshoala

In the history of women’s football in Nigeria nay Africa, the name, Asisat Oshoala (MON), has undoubtedly become a reference point given her exploits so far.

Oshoala became the first African to lift the Women’s UEFA Champions League trophy penultimate Sunday, with FC Barcelona Femeni which spanked Chelsea Ladies 4-0 in the final played in Sweden.

Till date, Nigeria remain the only Africa country to have produced players who won both the Men and the Women’s UEFA Champions League titles, following John Mikel Obi’s feat with Chelsea in 2012.

After her discovery at Robo FC of Lagos in 2009, Oshoala joined Rivers Angels in 2013 and has since then become a phenomenon in Nigerian women’s football. Clubs always scramble for the ebony fleet-footed striker, who scores effortlessly for every team she has played for.

She shone like a million stars when she featured for Nigeria’s Falconets at the 2014 FIFA U20 World Cup. Not only she propelled Nigeria to the final of the competition, she also emerged the Most Valuable Player (MVP) as well as the goal queen of the tournament with seven strikes.

Oshoala began a foreign adventure with Liverpool Ladies in 2015 and in March 2016 joined Arsenal Ladies where she won the FA Women’s Cup with the team that year.

Arsenal manager, Pedro Losa, had described the signing of the 2015 BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year thus, “Asisat is a fantastic talent and will be a great addition to our squad. She is quick, with excellent feet and has proven she can score goals so it’s very positive she has decided to join us.”

Oshoala later landed at Dalian Quanjian of China in 2017 season. She capped the season with the Golden Boot award after scoring 12 goals. She won two league and cup titles with Quanjian before moving to Barcelona Ladies in 2019 on loan from the Chinese side.

Her debut season was so eventful that the Blaugrana had no option but to reward her with a three-year contract on May 31, 2019.

ALSO READ: Oshoala named as Falcons captain

Interestingly, Oshoala commands so much respect among her Barcelona teammates as a post last year described her as the fastest player in the team.

One of her unforgettable moments was at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, where she scored a spectacular goal against South Korea in a group game and named Player of the Match. The goal was later adjudged as the seventh best Goal of the Tournament by FIFA.

In 2019, the amazon launched Asisat Oshoala Foundation aimed at encouraging young girls in Nigeria and Africa at large to play football. She has been organising clinics and tournaments in Lagos annually to discover talents.

Now the captain of the Super Falcons, given her achievements with Barcelona Ladies in the outgoing season, soccer pundits believe Superzee remains Africa’s best player at the moment and should even be rated among top 10 in the world that will jostle for FIFA Women’s Player award this year.

Statistics released early this month adjudged Oshoala as Nigeria’s best women’s footballer ever, ahead of the likes of Mercy Akide, Perpetual Nkwocha and Florence Omagbemi.

She holds the CAF African Women’s Player award, the fourth time in her career to equal compatriot, Nkwocha, while she stands a chance with her achievements this season, of making it five above any player on the continent in next CAF awards.

ALSO READ: Oshoala wins African Women’s Footballer of the Year award

In February this year, Oshoala led the Super Falcons to win the Turkey Invitational Tournament and she is set to inspire the Randy Waldrum-side to another memorable outing at the ongoing US Summer Series tournament where Nigeria face hosts, USA, Portugal and Jamaica.

She sets another record this month [May 16] becoming the first African to win the UEFA Women’s Champions League. She was the first African woman to score in the final of the prestigious competition in 2019 when Barcelona lost 1-4 to Lyon then. This time, she was introduced in the 71st minute of the game in place of Jenni Hermoso and also hit the scoresheet with a spectacular goal.

Oshoala had earlier won the 2019–20 Copa de la Reina and 2019–20 Supercopa de Espana before the UEFA golden moment at the Gamla Ullevi Stadium, Sweden.

The three-time African Women’s Nations Cup winner was philosophical after the feat in Sweden.

“I can only thank God who has made everything possible through sheer hard work, by playing alongside this incredibly talented group that creates a lovely family atmosphere.

“It’s is a great feeling and I can’t really put my emotions into words because it has been a tough journey to get here.

“I hope this will continue to inspire other young girls in Africa and motivate everyone around the world that you can achieve whatever you put your mind to and work hard for it,” Oshoala told BBC Sport Africa in the euphoria of the Champions League victory in Gothenburg.