Nigerian football star, Desire Oparanozie, has officially called time on her illustrious football career, bidding farewell to both international and club football. The 29-year-old Super Falcons forward made the announcement via her social media platform, X, on Wednesday, marking the end of a remarkable journey that spanned over a decade.
Oparanozie’s final appearance in the green and white jersey of the Super Falcons occurred at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, held in Australia and New Zealand. Nigeria’s campaign in the tournament came to a halt in the round of 16, making it a bittersweet conclusion to her international career.
In a heartfelt statement, Oparanozie expressed her gratitude, saying, “To my fans, family, and friends, thank you for the show of love and support over the years. It’s time to take a bow, as I believe there’s no better time than now. I’m officially announcing my retirement from professional football for both club and country. To every team and coach I have played for, to every mate I’ve played alongside, and to every opponent I have played against, thank you all for being part of this incredible journey. Thank you, football; thank you, Nigeria.”
The Super Falcons forward made her senior team debut in 2010 and went on to represent Nigeria in four FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments, including the 2011, 2015, 2019, and the recently concluded 2023 edition. Her contributions played a crucial role in the team’s successes throughout these competitions.
Notably, Oparanozie was an integral part of the Super Falcons squad that clinched the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) titles in 2010, 2014, 2016, and 2018, further solidifying her status as one of Nigeria’s football icons.
Desire Oparanozie’s football journey began in Nigeria, where she started her club career with Bayelsa Queens. She later moved to Delta Queens before making a significant move abroad. Her last club affiliation was with Wuhan Chegu Jianghan FC, where she showcased her skills on the international stage.
As the curtains fall on her illustrious career, Desire Oparanozie leaves behind a legacy that will be remembered by fans and football enthusiasts alike, both in Nigeria and around the world. Her contributions to women’s football in Nigeria have left an indelible mark, and she will undoubtedly be missed on the field.