Asisat Oshoala is an idol for younger generations of female football players in Africa.
Asisat shares her inspiring story which says:
“When I was in school I used to play football with boys, I was in this six-a-side team.
The boys always used to say to me: ‘Don’t go to the front, just stay at the back. Just kick the balls out. You can’t score goals. You can’t dribble past defenders.’
“And then the day came where we made it to a final. I dribbled two or three players and scored a goal 1-0. End of the game.
I remember saying to them, ‘Look at that. You don’t believe in me but look at what I can do.”
“When you have this determination, and people see this determination in you, eventually they have no choice but to give you the support you need to get you where you want to go,”.
“I didn’t think I was even going to get to pass the ball at the U-20 (Japan u-20 Female World cup tournament) because I was so young, I thought I was just making up the numbers,” said Asisat.
Oshoala came on as a substitute in the 76th minute of Nigeria’s opener against the Korea Republic.
Her performance for those final 14 minutes was so impressive that she started every subsequent match at the tournament, helping Nigeria get to the semi-finals.
“Then and there I learnt that when given an opportunity, you give it your best, you might not see them, but someone is always watching.
It was a great lesson for me. It’s something I’ve carried from Japan into every match I play now.”
“Canada was a massive one for me,” she said. “I wanted to do better. I wanted people to come not only to watch my team, but I wanted them to come to watch the girl who is determined, the girl who is always ready to give her best.”
Oshoala recalled about the Women’s World Cup and she said:
“I’d never experienced playing for such big crowds. I remember having to reprimand myself a few times.
I had to remind myself to not go onto the pitch and just start looking at my idols and not play football. I kept refocusing on this thought, ‘I’m going to go there and play the game I have inside me.’”
“I want to be an inspiration to others, so whenever I’m given the opportunity to represent my country I have to give my best.”