When Asisat Oshoala, the Super Falcons and Barcelona Ferminino striker, was declared winner of the African Women’s Footballer of the Year, 2019, a few weeks ago, the big concern was that her own compatriots who sat on the Confederation of African Football judges panel refused to vote for her. Every single one of them voted for an outsider. They didn’t consider their own compatriot good enough. I have addressed this matter at length in a piece titled: “The Betrayal of Asisat Oshoala (This Day, back page, January 14).”
At the time, Oshoala lost her cool momentarily and tried to engage her critics, which was absolutely unnecessary. But the best response that she has offered, and the one that is relevant, is how, after returning to her club in Europe, she has been putting up such sterling performance that further confirms her status as a super star on the pitch.
In January, she won the Africa Football Women’s Player of the year to equal the record of fellow Nigerian Perpetua Nkwocha. With her current performance, Oshoala does not want to just equal existing record, she wants to break the record in African Women’s Football. After winning the CAF award in January, she reportedly said: “…I want to create my own history and not just equal someone else’s record – I’m going to give my best to create mine.”
She is doing just that right now. Five-time winner of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, best player at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, winner of the BBC Footballer of the Year, 2015, Chinese Women’s Super League Top Scorer, 2017, she scored a brace in Barcelona’s 10-1 trouncing and humiliation of Real Sociedad in the Spanish Women’s League Super Cup Final on February 9, 2020. Loaned to Barcelona from China in January 2019, and later offered a permanent transfer, Oshoala has been a formidable and result-oriented member of the Barca line up and one of its most valuable players.
On January 11, 2020, four days after the CAF awards, Oshoala scored four goals in a 6-0 win against CD Tacon. She has been consistent since then. Whoever has any doubt about her achievements and quality may end up voting for her someday soon. Congratulations Asisat. Keep shooting. Keep shining.