Former Nigerian captain Desire Oparanozie retires from Super Falcons and football at 29

Desire Oparanozie at the FIFAWWC. (Photo Credit: FIFAWWC/X)

Former Nigerian captain Desire Oparanozie retires from Super Falcons and football at 29

Izuchukwu Akawor 10:45 - 13.09.2023

Desire Oparanozie will be remembered by Nigerians for missing a crucial penalty in Australia, but the forward has now hung her boots.

Nigeria international Desire Oparanozie has retired from football with immediate effect at 29.

Oparanozie confirmed this with a statement on her official social media account on Wednesday morning.

“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."

Nigeria's Desire Oparanozie (Photo Credit/Imago)

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

Oparanozie’s brief

The 29-year-old started her football journey in the Nigerian Women’s League, the NWFL, with South South side Bayelsa Queens.

She moved on to Delta Queens where the adventure to Europe began on loan in Turkey.

Super Falcons of Nigeria star Desire Oparanozie
Oparanozie began her career in the NWFL. (Photo Credit: Imago)

Desire returned to Delta Queens before moving to Europe permanently en route to stints in Russia, Germany and later on, France.

The Super Falcons forward joined Wuhan Jianghan University last year which will now be her last club.

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

Super Falcons career

Oparanozie began her journey with the Nigeria Women’s team in 2010 and went on to become a key member of the team.

She has featured in four FIFA Women’s World, FIFAWWC, including the last one in Australia where she featured in the round of 16 clash against England and missed a penalty in the shootout. 

Super Falcons veteran Desire Oparanozie who missed a penalty against England was full of praise for the Governor.

Oparanozie was also named captain of the Falcons in 2019 but would lose the armband after the World Cup after she battled the NFF on issues around the Super Falcons’ bonuses and wages.

Oparanozie was capped 35 times for Nigeria and scored 22 goals for the team. 

Desire Oparanozie
Desire Oparanozie wins Chinese Women’s Super League. (Photo Credit: Imago)

She retires as a four-time African champion and one one Nigeria’s most enigmatic players ever.

"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," Oparanozie added.

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