Nigerian women football is an underdeveloped one in the country and one that should be looked into as a source of income and development. Even Nigerian Women do not appreciate this aspect of Nigerian football. Much work needs to be done to get it into the world stage. After a tough work of choosing, here are the top three Women Footballers in Nigeria.
Perpetua Nkwocha: A very popular figure in Nigeria’s women footballer. A main stay on every Nigeria Women Coach team during her time. She is a dazzler and wonderful scorer. Played for Nigerian Women team within 1999-2015, 16 years of active service. She is the obvious pick for the top Nigeria Women player.
She participated in Seven CAF Women’s Championship editions (2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014), winning five of them (2002, 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2014). At the 2004 edition, She scored four goals in the final against Cameroon to help Nigeria win the title. She also set a record by scoring nine overall goals during the competition, and was named the best player of the tournament. Nkwocha, 41 was voted African Women’s Footballer of the Year in 2004, 2005, 2010 and 2011 by Confederation of African Football (CAF). She was participated in four FIFA Women’s World Cup (2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015) as well as the Olympic tournaments of 2000, 2004 and 2008.
She is currently the coach of Clemensnas IF from Swedish Women’s Football Division 2. Inarguably, she is the best woman footballer ever in Africa.
Asisat Oshoala: She was named best player and top goalscorer at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. She was also named best player and second top goalscorer with the Super Falcons team who won the 2014 African Women’s Championship and this explains her selection as the second-best women footballer of all time. After turning out for FC Robo, Rivers Angels, Liverpool Ladies and Arsenal Ladies, Oshoala, 22, is currently plying her trade in China for Dalian Quanjian F. She is currently the face of Nigerian Women Football. At just 19, she was made a Member of the Order of the Niger by then President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan; she was also named the BBC Women’s Footballer of the year (2015), Queen of the Pitch Award (2014), African Women’s Youth Player of the Year (2015), and African Women’s Player of the Year. There is still more in the bag for this talented youngster.
Precious Uzoaru Dede: This list will not be complete without this Veteran. Just like Nkwocha, before retirement she was an ever-present in Nigerian Women Team. The 37 year old is the joint most capped female footballer, 99 times. She turned out for Ibom Queens, Arna-Bjornar and Delta Queens in a fulfilled career that spanned some many years.
The 5ft 7in Goalkeeper appeared in the Nigerian Colours at many tournaments including Women’s Women Cup tournaments of 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, the Olympic tournaments of Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, and the African Women’s Championship tournaments of 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 winning it twice (2010, 2014). Nigeria Women’s football history will not be complete without the name of this Legendary Nigerian.
I believe the future of Nigerian Women is bright, but first, we need to fight through its present struggles by paying more attention to it and also, in few years I hope to see an Awoite topple one of these great ladies into the top 3.