FIFA+ is a free digital streaming platform launched by FIFA with the purpose of linking all football fans across the world to football related content.
Asisat Lamina Oshoala is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Primera División club FC Barcelona Femení and formerly captained the Nigerian women’s national team known as the Super Falcons.
Oshoala is widely regarded as the greatest African Women’s footballer of her generation and one of the greatest female athletes in Nigerian history.
The 27-year-old superstar is a four-time African Women’s Player of the year winner and is one of the best strikers in women’s football.
Oshoala was featured on FIFA’s latest platform in a documentary called ‘Icons’ chronicling the lives and careers of five female footballers including: Wendie Renard (France),Lucy Bronze (England),Carli Lloyd (Usa),Sam Kerr (Australia) and herself .
In the In the one minute trailer released via FIFA+, the aforementioned players narrate their football journey.
Taking us through a thrilling journey on her(Oshoala) life and football, here are 20 things we learned from her episode on Icons in the FIFA+ documentary series:
one Her Parents never wanted her to play Football
Asisat revealed early on in the episode, that both her father and her mother never wanted her to play football because they saw at a huge distraction to her studies at school.
two Girl-Child Mentality in Nigeria
Asisat also made mention of the ‘girl-child mentality’ in Nigeria.
The 27-year-old gave her honest thoughts on how it is ever-present in the Nigerian society today with a larger percentage of parents traditionally believing that it is the job of the females/girl-child to help their parents, cook, clean the house while their male counterparts are allowed far more freedom to explore and do less of the traditional chores at home.
Oshoala confirmed that this was one of the experiences she witnessed growing up with her parents in Lagos.
3 She was often denied food at home
Asisat, still speaking on her background, revealed that there were occasions when she would come back late from school due to her playing football after school and be denied food by her mother.
“It was always a big fight between me and my mom over my uniform which would usually end up dirty after playing football at school,” she said.
Asisiat also added that she would run to her grandma’s place to eat instead or avoid being punished for her late-coming as well as dirty uniform on school days.
4 Coach Osahon gave her first real opportunity to play football
Emmanuel Osahon who is the Coach and founder of FC Robo, Lagos state was in principle the very first man to spot Asisat’s talent in football and offer her a chance to actually do what she loves.
Coach Osahon called Asisat’s parents to seek their permission to allow her to play the beautiful game and was one of the first people to bet on Asisat’s incoming super-stardom in the sport.
5 Her Mother never agreed to Coach Osahon’s initial request
Coach Osahon confirmed in the episode, that Asisat’s father was first to agree to the idea of Asisat actually playing football in a junior league.
Asisat’s father saw that she was extremely talented in the sport and gave her his blessing, while her mother was initially very much skeptical on allowing her daughter to play football before eventually accepting the inevitable.
6 Once played as a defensive-midfielder
Asisat revealed that she started her career as a striker but in the early stages of her playing days, she represented the U-20 Nigerian Womens football team as a defensive-midfielder because the coaches saw that she was strong on the ball and also more importantly due to her height.
7 Coach Osahon eleven blasted her for playing out of position
”When she came back, I blasted her and I told her – I never trained you to be a midfielder, I trained you to be a destructive machine. Go and tell your coaches, you’re a striker and not a midfielder”, Coach Osahon revealed.
Osahon also added that the next World Cup, they played her in her natural role of a striker.
8 Her dad’s friends started calling him by his last name following her 2014 World Cup success
After Asisat won the Golden ball for her seven goals at the tournament at the 2014 Women’s World Cup, her father’s friends now started to refer to him as ‘Oshoala’ – his last name.
She was also named best player and second top goal-scorer with the Super Falcons team who won the 2014 African Women’s Championship.
9 There were huge doubts following her move to China
In February 2017, Oshoala signed with Chinese club Dalian Quanjian, following her desire for a change of environment.
“That move to China was what was best for me at that time even though people, were like: Asisat? China? Isn’t her standard going to drop or what?”, Oshaola said.
Asisat confirmed that even some of her team mates started to doubt her following that move in 2017, but she scored 12 goals helping Dalian Quanjian win the league championship and was also awarded the league’s Golden Boot award for most goals scored.
10 2015 World Cup and the power of Football
Asisat revealed that the 2015 World Cup in Canada helped her realize how powerful football is as a sport.
She stated that football as a sport has brought a lot of people together in Nigeria regardless of tribe or ethnicity, as was her relationship with most of her mates in the National team – a team filled with players from diverse cultural backgrounds.
eleven Onome Ebi was her early role model in the Super Falcons team
Even though Onome had also admitted that she feared for Asisat’s career following her move to China with regards to her standard.
She was the closest teammate to the Barcelona star in the National team.
Ebi also confirmed that Asisat had displayed extreme maturity at an early age and was also bold and free-minded, with Asisat approaching her first to commend her and express her admiration for her in the Super Falcons team.
12 Growing up, she wanted to be a Lawyer
One of the earliest statements Asisat made in the episode which many may find as shocking was her initial aspiration while growing up.
”I never had the intention to play football professionally, I wanted to be a lawyer”, the Barcelona striker revealed.
However, as fate would have it, she might not have studied law yet, but fast forward to years later, super zee is now the biggest African star in Women’s football globally.
Current Super Falcons coach Onome Ebi was among her teammates who also revealed in the episode that Asisat is one of the ‘calmest’ Super Falcons players.
Asisat is understood to be extremely calm under pressure and doesn’t easily lose it on the pitch regardless of her team’s shortcomings.
14 She is the Football Queen of Lagos
FC Robo Queens forward Gift Monday cites Asisat as her role model and claims that anytime Asisat comes back to Lagos, it feels as if an Angel is visiting Lagos describing the Barcelona star’s aura as unique.
And Gift couldn’t be wrong either, Asisat Oshoala is undisputedly the football queen of the Metropolis and she is the biggest women’s football star to come out of Lagos.
fifteen Her Parents are her biggest fans
Asisat revealed that when her parents are her biggest fans and till today continue to show her lots of love and support.
Asisat also revealed that her mother would always call her before games when she’s with her colleagues in the dressing room – which wasn’t always a good time for her to speak.
However, her parents had to get a grip of her match schedule and call her earlier to pray for her before every match she plays.