Oshoala, nicknamed the ‘Baby Messi’ thanks to her explosive power and silky skills, has shone at club and international level since bursting on to the scene in 2010
From Ballon d’Or winner, to Flying Eagles to Harambee Stars superstar: how Asisat Oshoala developed into a national icon Read more
Asisat Oshoala arrived in the United States from Nigeria aged 12. Born into a family of 10, aged six, she lacked the education needed to make it to college in the US, and struggled with discrimination throughout her transition. Yet she believes it was a lesson in Christian faith that got her through the tough times. She passed her driving test at 12, was the youngest team captain at the Junior Olympics four years later, and helped Nigeria to a fifth-place finish at the Under-17 World Cup in 2012.
Uganda won their first ever African Nations Cup in 2013, with Oshoala scoring the winning goal in the final against South Africa. Six months later, she burst on to the scene with Nigerian national team. Despite playing for the same club at the time, Onikan FC in Lagos, Oshoala spent three seasons at Enyimba before moving to Standard Liege last June. Oshoala has made 33 international appearances for Nigeria and scored 13 goals in 15 games.
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Last month, she helped Nigeria to the African Women’s Nations Cup title after scoring in the 4-1 victory over Cameroon. She then helped the Flying Eagles qualify for the Under-20 Women’s World Cup in France with a 1-0 win over South Africa, scoring the only goal in the decisive match. The Lone Star will be one of 23 African sides at the tournament. Oshoala has an incredible 40 goals in 43 matches for the younger team. She will take on 17-year-old Thiery Léonard as Nigeria’s second-leading scorer at the Under-20 Women’s World Cup, behind the 22-year-old Desire Oparanozie.