By John Essien
Four-time African Player of the Year and Super Falcon’s striker, Asisat Oshoala has revealed that her love for football often got her into trouble at home.
The Barcelona star who had a seemingly rough journey to success, became the first African player to win the UEFA Women’s Champions League in May, as the Spanish champions beat Chelsea 4-0 in last season’s final.
While on that route to the highest point, Oshoala’s parents were first unimpressed with her decision, but their perspective soon changed following her rise to stardom.
“As an African girl child, they say things like, ‘Oh, you’re a girl. You’re not supposed to be playing football. You’re supposed to be at home, helping your mother’. They see soccer or football as a male dominated game.
“Each time I [would] go to play football or something, I’m always in trouble. Sometimes, I don’t get to sleep at home. I had to go to my grandmother’s place to sleep at night. Some days my [mother] wouldn’t even give me money for food. Back then, it wasn’t the same. It was different, entirely different orientation.
“I made [my parents] believe that, okay, if they make young kids go after their dreams, there’s always something positive to come out of it. Today, I think they realise that. They’re now the ones who call me. They know my game even before I tell them,” she told CNN.
Oshoala and Barca begin their title defence against the Gunners on Tuesday and the Nigeria international has revealed her desire for more success, after the club’s incredible treble-winning campaign last term.
“The spirit of always wanting more, the spirit of not giving up, is one thing that pushes me a lot,” she added.
“This thing is about hard work and believing in your own team and also trusting your teammates and knowing that you have the same goal. When you have the same goal, then it’s easy to achieve big things.”