Lots of African players have enjoyed the huge financial incentives and savored the competitive nature of top clubs in China, though some still ply their trade there in other to nurture their talents and enrich the opportunity to play for their country with top clubs always on the hunt for new players.
African players are now attracted to new destinations as more women leagues become professional, the traditional choices were the USA and Scandinavia countries who were among the first to offer professional deals for African women, with France and England among them.
But recently, the fast-growing Spanish Primera Iberdrola Feminine also presents African players with a good platform to parade their skills and shows what they’ve got to offer, as such player inflow has been massive heading to the Iberdrola Feminine because the clubs are excellent when it comes to looking after the players and making them feel comfortable.
In this piece, Cheapgoals is taking a look at African stars at the Primera Iberdrola Feminine, as it’s gradually becoming a new home with a new set of players joining the Iberdrola.
Charity Adule – Eibar
Adule is a Nigeria player, who played for Nigeria at the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany, she also plays for the Super Falcons, in 2018 Adule revealed she had rejected approaches to represent the Kazakhstan women’s national football team just to play for Nigeria.
In 2014 Adule joined BIIK Kazygurt, during her stint with the Kazakhstan outfit, she won five league titles, and also played in the UEFA Champions League in 2017, but couldn’t help her club moved beyond the round of 16.
Adule’s performance with BIIK Kazygurt didn’t go unnoticed, as clubs around the world all want her in their rank, in 2019 she sealed a move to the Spanish side SD Eibar ahead of the 2019-20 season, which now becomes the new home of Adule.
Michaela Abam – Real Betis
Abam started her football career with college football, but it was the Sky Blue FC that gave her the opportunity to be drafted into the team, and she played for the Sky as the 4th overall pick for the 2018 NWSL season, but unfortunately for her, she was dropped after playing just four games.
2018 was a big turn around for the young American born, the Cameroonian player sealed a move to one of the best club sides in France, Paris FC. Abam only used a season with the French outfit, played ten games with one goal to her name.
With the new trend of movement of African players switching clubs, Real Betis signed Abam, to add to the richness of African women stars joining the Iberdrola.
Alice Ogebe – Real Betis
Ogebe is another African player that plies her trade at the Iberdrola feminine, she joined the Sevilla based club from Red Star Belgrade.
Alice joined Betis last season from Serbia, and she became the second African player in Pier’s led side for the Iberdrola.
Ogebe made her International debut for Nigeria against China, which the Falcons lost 3-0 since then she hasn’t been called up.
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Princella Adubea – Sporting De Huelva
Adubea helped Ghana’s U20 women side to qualify for their fifth consecutive Women’s World Cup in 2018, and also scoring 10 goals, the 20-year-old also won the Ghana Women’s Premier League and Women’s FA Cup golden boot three times, scoring 38 goals in the two seasons for Ampem Darkoa.
Princella’s move to Spain came from her blistering performance for the Ghanaian U20 team despite the 11month layoff she able to signed her first professional contract in Europe.
The Huelva-based outfit announced the deal of Adubea to make her the second addition after winger Sara Navarro joined from Albacete, and since she joined Sporting Huelva she has been very instrumental to the team.
Peace Efih – Sporting De Huelva
Efih is another Huelva player who joined the Spanish outfit in 2019, she previously played for Edo Queens and Rivers Angels in the NWPL before moving to Spain.
Efih was part of the Nigeria team at the 2018 WAFU Zone B Women’s Cup, she scored the only goal in Nigeria’s first game at the tournament and also played an important role for the team throughout the tournament.
The Nigerian joined Sporting De Huelva in July 2019, signing a one year deal with the Iberdrola side to make her part of the African contingents in the league.
Natasha Shirazi – Rayo Vallecano
The Uganda forward Shirazi joined Rayo from the Danish club side Farum, Shirazi stint with the Danish outfit was a fruitful one with Boldklubben AF 1893 in 2018, and Ballerup-Skovlunde Fodbold which she joined in 2017 before moving to Farum.
Shirazi’s decision to move to Rayo Vallecano was a needed one for the young forward, she couldn’t lay claim to a starting shirt with Farum which made her moved down to Spain.
Since she joined the Vallecano based team last year, Shirazi has to be one of the team important forward.
Rita Chikwelu – Madrid CFF
Rita became the latest in an ever-increasing number of African players to join the Spanish Women’s League in January, the 31-year-old joined Madrid CFF on a six-month deal after a decade in Sweden, with Umea IK and Kristianstad where she scored a lot of goals.
She joins her compatriot Chidinma Okeke at the Spanish Primera Iberdrola side to make her the second Nigerian player with the team.
Chikwelu who helped Nigeria to success at the 2016 and 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations tournament will be with the Spanish outfit till the end of the season, she might stay beyond the six months deal because of her blistering performance so far with the team.
Chidinma Okeke – Madrid CFF
In August 2019, Okeke completed her move to Madrid CFF from FC Robo and made her first-team debut in a win against Real Betis in September, the move to Spain was her first professional move to Spain on a one year deal with a 12-month extension option for the young defender.
Okeke’s move to Spain ends her productive stint with her Lagos based childhood side FC Robo, she also starred for Nigeria at the 2019 Women’s World Cup as she featured in four games and provided a brilliant assist to see Nigeria to the Round of 16 for the first time in 20 years in France.
The Oscar Fernandez led side bolstered the team by signing young Nigeria ahead of 2019-20 season in other not to have a repeat of last season relegation-threatened campaign.
Osinachi Ohale – CD Tacon
In 2014 Ohale tested herself with Houston Dash in the National Women’s Soccer League throughout the 2014 season before returning home to Nigeria with Rivers Angels.
In 2016, she joined Swedish Damallsvenskan side Vittsjö GIK, where she played a prominent role in their title chase for the club, and she played 22 matches for the Swedish side as one of their favorite players before joining Vaxjo DFF 18 months later.
In 2019, Spanish side CD Tacon announced that they’ve signed the Nigerian on a permanent deal, and played her first game for the club in a 3-0 victory over Sporting de Huelva to complete the trend of African women footballers moving to Spain.
N’Guessan – Granadilla Tenerife
The 29-year old Ivorian N’Guessan came to limelight by scoring against Norway in a 3-1 defeat at the World Cup, and her performance sealed her a move to the Lithuanian club side Gintra Universitetas in 2015.
N’Guessan also had a stint with Anorthosis Famagusta in Cyprus scoring 17 goals in 13 league games before moving to Spain to join FC Barcelona in 2016.
N’Guessan signed for Granadilla Tenerife in 2017, and ever since she joined she has played over 51 games for the team with 5 goals to her name.
Raissa Feudjio – Granadilla Tenerife
Feudjio got her professional career on track in Finland with Merilappi United in 2015, Aland United in 2016-17 before moving down to Spain in 2018.
Feudjio played a prominent role with the Cameroonian national team at the world cup in France, but couldn’t help her team to the final at the Mundial.
Since the beginning of the Iberdrola league, the Cameroonian has been very instrumental for the Tenerife side.
Uchenna Kanu – Sevilla
The 22-year old Nigeria and former Pensacola forward joined Spanish outfit Sevilla on a permanent deal this January after completing her university studies in the USA, where she emerged as the all-time top-scorer with 157 goals and 366 points.
Kanu joined her compatriot Toni Payne in Sevilla to make the team more formidable for the opposition, and she was handed her first appearance for the Red and Whites in the 62nd minute after replacing Ana Franco against Barcelona.
Kanu will look to establish herself in Toro’s team as the season progresses in their quest to win the league at the end of the season.
Toni Payne – Sevilla
The American-Nigerian put an end to her stint with Netherlands Eredivisie women’s champions Ajax in 2018 to join Sevilla and adding to the number of African women footballers moving to Spain.
Payne was impressive in her first season scoring 10 goals and assisting three in 30 appearances for her team, which led to her getting an extension in her contract until 2021.
The former Concacaf Women’s U17 winner with the USA will play three seasons wearing the Sevilla FC jersey with plenty to deliver for the Red and White this season with four goals in 14 outings already to her name.
Priscilla Okyere – Rayo Vallecano
Okyere competed for Ghana at 2018 AWCON playing two matches and since her outing, at the Awcon she became an integral part of the Ghanaian national team.
In 2019 Okyere joined Rayo from ŽFK Spartak Subotica to continue her top-flight career in Europe with the Spanish outfit.
Priscilla is yet to taste a match since the commencement of the season, but then due to her antecedent with ZFK Spartak, she will get the opportunity to turn out for Rayo.
Ida Guehai – EDF Logrono
Ida first move to Spain in 2018 was hampered by cardiovascular deficiencies which she was diagnosed with in her quest to join RCD Espanyol, the disease didn’t prevent her from playing high-level football.
Guehai signed for Levente in 2018 despite the threat of cardiovascular deficiencies hampering her career, and during her stint with Levante, she played 19 matches with three goals.
The Ivorian joined Logrono in 2019, from the back of her impressive performance with Levante.
Grace Asantewaa – EDF Logrono
Asantewaa was also one of the stars that competed for Ghana at the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations, played a pivotal role for the Ghanaian.
Her impressive performance got her the move to Logrono from Ampem Darkoa in Ghana to kick start her professional career with a European topflight team.
Grace is yet to play a match this season, but she’s still very much an important team player to her Spanish outfit.
Dorine Chuigoue – EDF Logrono
In 2017, Chuigoué was resigned by her Serbian club Spartak Subotica for her second stint, but the following season she moved to the Spanish women’s top league club EDF Logroño, playing along with her Equatorial Guinean teammate.
Chuigoué became a naturalized citizen of Equatorial Guinea in 2016 and she debuted with the women’s national team of Equatorial Guinea during the African Women’s Championship and she also played at the 2011 World Cup.
Since she joined Logrono in 2018, Dorine has played 24 games and scored two goals, and she has also cemented the left side of the defense as her own.
Asisat Oshoala – FC Barcelona
In 2019, Spanish club FC Barcelona Femení signed Oshoala on a loan deal until the end of the season, Asisat impressed the Barcelona’s hierarchy while still under the loan spell, and in May the Catalan based side announced Oshoala’s full transfer to the club until 2022.
The former Dalian Quanjian forward has played nine games and scored 11 goals this season, Oshoala exploits in Spain has brought about the new trend of Nigerian women footballers moving to Spain.
With the way the Super Falcons forward have been impressive both in the league and the champions league, it’s evident that many other Nigerian and African players would still move to Spain in the future.
FIFA Congress To Decide Future Host Of FIFA Women’s World Cup™
Council assigns FIFA Women’s World Cup™ hosting decision to the football governing body’s Congress; also approves financial statements for 2020 and budget for 2022.
Meeting by video conference, the Council conferred to the Congress the decision to award Women’s World Cup™ hosting rights.
Until now, the decision has been taken by the FIFA Council, most recently in June 2020 when the hosting rights for the 2023 edition were awarded to Australia and New Zealand.
As the football governing body seeks to raise the profile of the women’s game, this represents a significant step to bring the Women’s World Cup in line with the flagship men’s competition.
The proposal will be put forward for a final decision by the 71st FIFA Congress, which will meet virtually (for the second time) on 21 May.
International match calendar and release of players.
The FIFA Council received a report on the international football situation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bureau of the Council had extended to April 2021 the temporary amendments to the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players regarding the release of players for international duty, and FIFA, the confederations, and its member associations remain in dialogue with national authorities about exemptions from quarantine rules for national team players.
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The FIFA Council recognized that the highest priority in football is the health of the players, and therefore the discussion around the release of players for international duty must maintain this perspective, especially as the public health situation develops around the world.
2020 financials and 2022 budget
The Council also approved the organization’s Annual Report, which contains the financial statements for 2020 and the budget for 2022.
The FIFA Annual Report 2020 focuses on the role played by world football’s governing body in the fight against COVID-19, primarily through the unprecedented COVID-19 Relief Plan, which has made available USD 1.5 billion to support FIFA’s 211 member associations and the confederations through times of financial uncertainty.
The FIFA Annual Report 2020 is available on the official site.
FIFA Arab Cup 2021™
The Council approved the competition regulations for the FIFA Arab Cup 2021, confirming the match schedule and draw procedure for the competition taking place in Qatar from 1 to 18 December this year.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Fédération Internationale de Football Association.
Paul Onuachu: A Victim Of Tactical Deficiency
Ever wondered why Genk forward Paul Onuachu has always been a prolific figure for his club and find it hard to replicate that form with the Super Eagles when invited?
The Nigeria international has been in awesome form for the Blue-White, scoring 26 goals in the Jupiler League this season for Genk, while his scoring prowess at his club has been a contrast to his form with the national team under Gernot Rohr scoring just once in 9 games despite being a top performer at club level.
Ahead of the AFCON qualifier doubleheader against Lesotho and the Benin Republic, Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr named his 23 man list with the inform former Midtjylland forward listed as one of the standby players.
Onuachu’s struggles with the Super Eagles in previous games he featured is quite baffling, considering the excitement that greeted his first appearance with the national team plus the impressive form he’s currently in.
The job of every manager is to find a suitable position or fashion out tactics that would be suitable for their players in other to blend with the team approaches to every match. In Onuachu’s case, he hasn’t been fortunate enough to blend in with Rohr’s tactics. While at club level, Midtjylland plays to his strength.
However, due to Napoli’s players been restricted from traveling, the Genk forward made it through the backdoor to replace Gernot Rohr’s number one forward Victor Osimhen who hasn’t really hit the ground running with the ‘Partenopei‘, but when with the Eagles, he never fails to deliver.
It’s no doubt that the lanky striker has failed to deliver in his previous games, disappointing the ever-demanding Nigerian football enthusiasts with unforgiving backlashes from the fans. However, his prolific prowess with his club suggests otherwise and consistently makes a case for him to be integrated into the team with a different tactical approach that suits his style.
The era of a target man may have been long gone in football due to the advent of new tactics that have brought about a series of changes in the game. With managers preferring to go with a fast, skillful, or makeshift winger- kind of striker, instead of a target man.
READ ALSO: Super Eagles: 9 Players Who Netted On Debut
Looking at how Paul Onuachu plays with Genk upfront shows he’s one of the best target men in football, despite been perceived by many as a slow and old-fashioned kind of forward. However, John van den Bromm has been able to carve out a tactic that suits him which has been evident with his prolific form irrespective of his style of play.
Onuachu’s Super Eagle future might be on the knife-edge with Gernot Rohr not finding the right tactics that suit the Genk forward, especially with him not been consider as the go-to man despite his blistering runs of form in Belgium.
In recent times Rohr’s philosophy of vibrant attacking football with an emphasis on passing in the final third which requires the expertise of brilliant players to implement such tactics hasn’t really favored him.
Having a player in the mold of Onuachu gives Rohr another tactical option and an alternative style of play should the initial approach fails to work as expected, but the German tactician hasn’t really taken advantage of what the man could offer with a different opponent.
Onuachu’s presence in the Super Eagles team should be an added advantage in terms of variety when the normal approach of the manager fails. With an in-form striker on the bench, it could prove valuable, but in the former Midtjylland’s case, Gernot Rohr doesn’t seem to see him as a player that has a future with the national team.
Players in the mold of the Nigerian are quite physically imposing as the point man, though they may not offer the team excellent off-the-ball movement in some cases. However, they often find a way to provide an opportunity which the team could utilize when attacking or defending.
Onuachu’s inability to show a good turn of pace and smart footwork may have been one of the deficiencies that are affecting his chances of blending perfectly into the team.
However, the job of a manager is to help players blend in perfectly, and that’s exactly what Gernot Rohr should be doing. Not only for Onuachu but for every other player who are always finding it hard to replicate club form with the National Team.