African Women’s Footballer of the Year, Asisat Oshoala, has revealed that she never had the support of her parents playing football while growing up in Lagos.
She is part of UEFA’s Together #WePlayStrong women’s football campaign, which kicked off on Tuesday.
In a video documentary posted on the campaign’s Instagram page, the 25-year-old talked about her road to stardom. To clarify, Asisat Oshoala discussed the lack of support her parents showed her.
She said, “Talking about my journey of football right from the beginning, I started with my friends in school. And so, I did it just for fun.
“It became something that I liked to do more often and after school hours I would play football before I go home.
“My parents were always complaining that I came home late after school hours. When I finished from school, I had like almost months doing nothing, so I just spoke with my parents (that) maybe they could just allow me to play for fun and nothing serious.
“From there I played in a tournament. Then, one of the teams discovered me and they told me they wanted me. But I said I didn’t want to play professional football, but they said “no” because I have the qualities.
“I said my parents were not going to allow me to do that, so they shouldn’t bother trying. My parents never supported me (Asisat Oshoala); the only person who was supportive was my grandmother.
“She was the only one who was there. Even when my parents wanted to beat me for playing football, she alone would support and give me food.”
Oshoala found success as a forward for Nigeria’s youth teams but made most of her early appearances for the senior national team as an attacking midfielder.
She was nicknamed “Seedorf” after male footballer Clarence Seedorf and has also been referred to as “Superzee” by her teammates.
In September 2014 Oshoala was made a Member of the Order of the Niger by President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan.
On 8 June 2015 in Winnipeg, Canada, Oshoala opened her senior FIFA Women’s World Cup account by scoring Nigeria’s second goal in a 3–3 draw with Sweden.
Oshoala was also a member of the Super Falcons team who won the African Women’s Championship in 2016 and 2018. She scored three goals in the 2018 Edition in Ghana.
She joined Barcelona last January, initially on loan, and has flourished this season, scoring 20 goals in 19 appearances before the coronavirus outbreak.