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Asisat Oshoala’s Revelation

Super Falcons striker and FC Barcelona player, Asisat Oshoala has made some revelations about her football career.

She said; “I went to a mixed school for boys and girls, and that’s where I started playing football during playtime and after class. I played for fun in the streets of Lagos, mainly on Sundays. And then I joined a girls’ team in the city.”

“I was happy because I could play football every day. I must admit it caused a lot of arguments with my mother, but I got my way. When I joined the Rivers Angels it opened the doors to the national team and for the first time I realised I could go on to become a professional.”

“Five years ago I set up my own foundation, which basically encourages girls to go ahead with their dream of turning professional. We only work with women because men have enough opportunities anyway. I speak to them and play with them and try to make them more confident and help them to find a club. We’ve helped about 5,000 girls. It’s my little bit to help girls in Lagos.”

“I think that it is hard for girls in Africa to play football and other sports in general. A lot of them have the same problems that I had when I was little in that their parents don’t want them to play and there aren’t many options for women footballers. I tell them never to give up, to keep fighting and believing in themselves. To love their football and to play it whenever they can. If you believe hard enough, one day your dreams will come true.”

“That’s what happened to me. In 2012 I went to the U20 World Cup, as a defensive midfielder, and when I went again in 2014 I became a forward. I was top scorer and MVP at that tournament and that convinced me that I was good enough to make a career out of football and play in other countries.”

“The first was England. Well, I did have a trial with París Saint-Germain before the second U20 World Cup, but my first European club was Liverpool when I was just 20 years old. I got other offers, but as my only language is English, I took that option.”

“It was a good decision. I like Liverpool a lot. And that coach really believed in me and I was playing very well until I got injured. It was a nice experience and then I joined Arsenal the year after. I was very young and the changes were a lot for me to deal with, but I tried to adapt and be happy.”

“Then came the Chinese adventure. OMG! Dalian was a nice place, and my coach Farid Benstiti was like a father for me. He knew me from when I had a trail at PSG, and we spoke a lot and he boosted my confidence.”

“The language, the food, the place, the people, it was all so different to Europe, but I was glad to have a European coach because none of the other players could speak English and I needed a private translator to speak to them. But despite all of that, it was a good experience.”

“The time came when I decided to return to Europe. That was in 2019 and the chance to come to Barça came up. I said yes. I didn’t think twice. I wanted to come here. From China, Barça was one of the best teams I had ever seen and I wanted to be part of that team. It was a magical moment to be able to come here.”

“My first six months were more than difficult. It was a new environment and not many people speak English, and I joined midway through the season so I had to adapt much quicker than normal.”

“But I got too see a lot of interesting things in that half year, including qualifying for the Champions League final. Wow! I’d never played a game like that! I am proud to have scored Barça’s first ever goal in a European final but was also sad about the result. We had chances, and these are all about experiences, but we couldn’t do it.”

“Now we have another Champions League challenge ahead, against the best teams in Europe, and they are one-legged games in the Basque Country. We have to do the best we can.”

“After playing this competition last year, I know how competitive it is. I think the team can go far again. It will be hard after not playing for six months, but the game with Atlético will be one to watch.”

“Personally I’m feeling great. I’ve been improving and feel I fit better into the way the team plays. I’ve been scoring goals in the preseason and things are going well.”

“Everyone knows me for my long hair and last year I decided on a change of look. I cut my hair short. If I see a colour I like, I dye my hair. It’s orange at the moment, but next week it could be red, pink or yellow. Not for any special reason, simply because I like a change.”

“Before ending I want to congratulate the whole Barça family for winning the league after such a long time without winning it. I hope you will all be supporting us from your homes and that we will see you all again at the stadium very soon, and that we will all be able to celebrate the league title together”

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