A true leader — Ashleigh Plumptre eulogises retired ex-Super Falcons captain Desire Oparanozie

A dejected Oparanozie and her Super Falcons teammates as England knock out Nigeria | Imago

A true leader — Ashleigh Plumptre eulogises retired ex-Super Falcons captain Desire Oparanozie

Izuchukwu Akawor 19:01 - 14.09.2023

Former Super Falcons skipper Desire Oparanozie, who has retired from football, receives some kind words from Ashleigh Plumptre.

Super Falcons defender Ashleigh Plumptre has reacted to the shocking retirement of her former teammate Desire Oparanozie.

Oparanozie took to her social media accounts to announce her decision to retire from football at all levels. 

Pulse Sports Nigeria reported that the former Super Falcons skipper called it quits at the age of 29. 

Oparanozie’s decision

The forward was part of the Super Falcons team that made the nation and continent proud at the ninth FIFAWWC.

Desire Oparanozie quits football.
Oparanozie missed Nigeria's first penalty against England - Photo Credit || Imago

She featured in just one game as the Falcons made it to the round of 16 as one of three African teams to ever do so at a single World Cup.

The former Bayelsa Queen attacker came off the bench against European champions, England, but went on to miss a decisive penalty as Nigeria crashed out via shootout.

Oparanozie scored 22 goals in 35 matches
Nigeria's Desire Oparanozie (Photo Credit/Imago)

Weeks after that painful miss and defeat, the talented forward says there was no better time for her to leave than now. 

“It's time to take a bow, as I believe there's no better time than now,” her statement said in parts.

"I'm officially announcing my retirement from professional football for both club and country."

"To my fans, family, and friends, thank you for the show of love and support over the years."

Plumptre reacts

Reactions have since poured in from Nigerians, who have expressed a mixture of shock and love.

Ashleigh Plumptre in action for Nigeria against England | Photo Credit: Imago

The latest to react is Oparanozie’s teammate at the FIFAWWC in Australia, Plumptre.

Plumptre, 25, has praised the former skipper and described her as the true leader. 

“A true leader in all its forms,” the latest Al-Ittihad defender stated on her Instagram story. 

Ashleigh Plumptre joins Al-Ittihad as a free agent. (Photo Credit: Screenshot from Ittihad/X)

“So grateful to have played alongside you and to have learnt from your courage in always representing us and those who came after us.

“Big love to you always, Desire Oparanozie. Thank you,” she added.

Oparanozie represented Nigerian 35 times and scored 22 goals for the Super Falcons. 

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