An African woman, a school of football and breaking barriers

Written by Staff Writer Asisat Oshoala , a grandmother from Nigeria, is on the verge of becoming one of the best women’s soccer players in the world. The 23-year-old has dominated the competition at…

An African woman, a school of football and breaking barriers

Written by Staff Writer

Asisat Oshoala , a grandmother from Nigeria, is on the verge of becoming one of the best women’s soccer players in the world. The 23-year-old has dominated the competition at the Under-20 African Women’s Championships in Algeria and stands second in the competition’s individual goal scoring rankings behind Cameroon’s Jewel Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Born in the village of Ayetoro in the north west of Nigeria, Oshoala started playing football aged 11 with the FC Ayetoro FC Boys Club. She joined the Ayetoro Girls Club in 2012 when she was 13 years old.

In March 2015, the national team at the Under-20 African Women’s Championship was awarded the Momo Oladapo Award for Best Team. Oshoala was nominated in the ‘Best Women Forward’ category.

A month later, she was crowned the best U-20 African Footballer of the Year 2015. It was a huge accolade as she had beaten world stars like Fatmire Bajramaj and Morais Ninjek to this award.

A year later, in the 2015 Afcon final match, Oshoala scored the first goal for the Super Falcons, while supporting an injured captain Desire Oparanozie , to help Nigeria qualify for the 2015 Women’s World Cup. It was the first time that an African country had qualified for the Women’s World Cup in Canada and Oshoala’s goal kick in the final is up for nomination in the FIFA “goal of the tournament” award.

Oshoala has a degree in accounting from the University of Jos and intends to be the first to be a Super Falcons captain to hold a degree, graduation and job. She hopes that one day she can establish a school of football.

Oshoala has broken barriers. In June 2017, Sports Illustrated noted that, “An African woman has scored more than 100 international goals in a career, putting her in top 3 all-time in African soccer. Football’s growing gender inequality isn’t new — roughly 78 percent of the 93 top-flight national teams in the world are made up of men — but seeing an African woman racking up career goals in an equal, or even on a par, footing with men has been a milestone in its own right.”

CNN’s Andi Zeisler brings you an in-depth look at why, in the age of social media, Africa’s female athletes are gaining international attention.

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