Nigeria’s Oshoala is BBC World Footballer of the Year
*It’s good motivation ahead World Cup, says NFF
SUPER Falcons and Liverpool forward Asisat Oshoala has emerged as the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year.
The 20-year-old forward is the first player to win the new award from the BBC World Service, voted for by football fans around the world.
She beat Spain’s Veronica Boquete, German Nadine Kessler, Scot Kim Little and Brazilian Marta to the honour.
“I would like to say thank you to the BBC, to my fans around the world and to everyone who voted,” she said.
The award is the first of its kind hosted by a global broadcaster.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) was excited over the news of Oshoala’s victory in the BBC Footballer of the year poll yesterday, describing it as great motivation for the Super Falcons in the fast approaching FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.
The Nigeria Football Federation’s Chairperson in-charge of Women football committee, Mrs. Dilichukwu Onyedinma, told The Guardian yesterday that apart from serving as great motivation for Oshoala in Canada, her teammates in the Super Falcons will also be motivated.
“I feel so happy for Oshoala over this award,” Onyedinma said. “I am sure our opponents will even be cautious playing against Oshoala in Canada and that will be a plus for the Falcons.”
Oshoala, who was the youngest player to be shortlisted, was the tournament’s leading scorer and was voted best player at the Under-20s World Cup in Canada last summer.
Her performances led Nigeria to the final, where they were narrowly beaten by Germany and she was also a major influence in the senior Nigeria team that won the African Women’s Championship (AWC) in Windhoek, Namibia, last October.
That ensured their qualification for this summer’s World Cup in Canada, which begins on June 6 with full coverage on the BBC.
Oshoala, who is currently in Toronto with the Falcons preparing for the World Cup, said the honour was a big lift for Nigeria ahead of the games and would help inspire young players in her homeland.
She said: “It’s a really good thing for us as a team because we now know that we have something great and now we want to go for the trophy. We can do it, we did it in 2014. We can also do it this year as well.