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Asisat Oshoala: the African queen of turf

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Since dropping out of school to pursue a career in football, Nigeria international Asisat Oshoala has never looked back – it’s been one achievement after another. This season his game has been marred by injury, reducing his playing time to just 12 starts in 19 appearances. Undeterred, the Super Falcons striker not only helped Barcelona win the league for the second consecutive time, but also won the Spanish Premiera Iberdrola Golden Boot, making her the first African to achieve the feat. Beyond that, the 27-year-old is focusing her attention on adding the UEFA Champions League medal to her tally.

Super Falcons striker Asisat Oshoala won the golden boot from Spanish Premiera Iberdrola on Sunday after an impressive scoring season with champions Barcelona Femeni to become the first African woman to achieve the feat after scoring 20 goals in just 12 starts in 19 league matches.

The 27-year-old, who opened her season account with a brace in a 5-0 win over Real Betis on September 11, netted her 20th goal of the season in a 5-1 win over Sevilla May 5.

The 20th goal of the season saw the Super Falcons star equalize with Madrid CFF’s Brazilian Geyse, who failed to go any further.

Despite being introduced as a 63rd-minute substitute, the Nigerian couldn’t add to her goalscoring tally in the final day’s 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid but she still clinched his coveted accolade, having played fewer matches (19) than Geyse (27). ).

The Nigerian captain was the top scorer at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and was named the tournament’s best player. She was also named the best player and second top scorer for the Super Falcons team that won the 2014 African Women’s Championship.

Meanwhile, world football’s governing body FIFA have hailed Super Falcons and Barcelona striker Femeni for winning the Pichichi with the Catalan club despite being out for two months.

Oshoala was confirmed joint-top scorer in the Spanish women’s football league on Sunday, with her 20 goals enough for the award.

“20 goals and a perfect club season. Asisat Oshoala has always been unstoppable!” FIFA wrote on its official Women’s World Cup page.

Oshoala had a superb season, winning the league’s top scorer and achieving an unblemished league record.

Speaking on the award, Oshoala said: “It’s obviously been a team effort to get here, and I can only thank my team-mates and everyone at the club for this achievement. “We’ve worked hard the whole season and we can’t stop now because we have another big one ahead of us.” Barcelona scored 159 goals in 30 games without dropping a single point. They conceded just 11 to cement their outstanding dominance.

Barcelona Femeni will face Lyon in the Champions League final today as they hope to successfully defend the title they won last year.

Should Barcelona become champions, Oshoala would win the Champions League for the second time and become the first African to win it twice, a season after becoming the first African to win the award.

Oshoala, 27, is Africa’s most decorated footballer and becomes the first woman from the continent to win Spain‘s Golden Boot.

After their historic league campaign which saw them pick up maximum points with 30 wins from 30 matches, Oshoala are aiming for another milestone with Jonatan Giraldez’s side.

“Everyone’s attention has shifted from celebrating the league title to preparing for a massive game in Turin,” she added.

After that big night in Italy, Barcelona will then turn their attention to El Clasico against Real Madrid in the Copa de la Reina semi-final on May 25 as they continue their quest for a historic treble.

Oshoala has now scored 81 goals in 104 appearances for Barca and signed a deal to stay with the Spanish giants until the end of the 2023-24 campaign.

She joined Spanish side Chinese champions Dalian Quanjian in January 2019, initially on loan, before agreeing a permanent switch five months later.

The former FC Robo and Rivers Angels star moved to the Far East in February 2017 from English side Arsenal, with whom she won the Women’s FA Cup at Wembley in 2016.

She finished top scorer in the Chinese Women’s Super League in 2017 with 12 goals to help her club win the title in the same year. Oshoala, who started her European career at Liverpool, won her third Women’s Africa Cup of Nations with the Super Falcons in Ghana in 2018, scoring three goals as Nigeria lifted the title for the ninth time.

Oshoala won the Confederation of African Football Player of the Year for the fourth time in 2020, equaling the record set by compatriot Perpetua Nkwocha.

The first BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year winner helped Nigeria reach the last 16 of the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France and hopes to lead her country to 2023 World Cup qualification and a record 10th Nations Cup title in Morocco in July.

Nigeria were paired with South Africa, who the Super Falcons beat on penalties to lift the trophy four years ago in the group stage of the tournament.