The year 2019 has already rounded off and the year 2020 ushered us into another decade in the world of football fraternity, as that we’ve seen in time past great female footballers who have done well for the Super Falcons, and currently we are still seeing those that are ready to deliver anytime any day.
Nigeria is arguably the greatest African football country and to some extent in the world, as such the Super Falcons have enjoyed tremendous success throughout their history on the continent winning over eleven AWCON titles and to some extent they have been one of the best team to rely in Africa during the FIFA World Cup, and they are also one of the few teams in the world to have qualified for every edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, with their best performance at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup where they reached the quarterfinals which were their best performance till date.
Eleven-time AWCON winners have produced the finest footballers in the continent who have taken the European leagues by storm and made a tremendous contribution to their respective clubs in Europe.
Therefore, a review of Nigeria women footballers of the last decade who has impressed us with their scintillating and breathtaking performance for the Super Falcons both at the AWCON and at the world stage.
Ngozi Okobi – Eskilstuna United
Okobi impressed in the inaugural U17 World Cup in New Zealand in 2008, and she was promoted to the Super Falcons which got her the opportunity to be part of the team that went to Japan in 2011.
Since that tournament where she announced herself as one of the best players to look out for, she has been one of the backbones of the team with her contributions in international competitions over the last decade.
Okobi also starred for Nigeria at the U20 World Cup in Japan, where the Falconets finished fourth in the tournament, and critically Okobi has been in every edition of the African Women Nations Cup.
In 2015 in Canada, she was voted the Nigeria Sports Awards Women’s Player of the year, winning it ahead of her teammates Oshoala and Operanozie.
Desire Oparanozie – Guingamp
The Falcons forward has been part of the team since 2010, and one of the best African striker around in the last decade scoring some crucial goals at the AWCON in 2014 where he emerged top scorer with five goals at the AWCON and the 2016 finals which was the fourth Afcon titles won by Nigeria.
Operanozie has been one of the underrated and under-celebrated forward for her breathtaking and scintillating achievements and qualities, despite how dangerous, fast and critically her physical and robust play, yet many still don’t regard her as one best female-forward around.
Ever since Operanozie’s young age, she has weighed in with a lot of important goals for the Falcons, and most importantly how she distinguished herself as a talented forward the world must look out for by firing from all cylinders with five goals at the U20 World Cup, and at the U17 tournament in New Zealand.
She also showed every Nigeria football enthusiast that she can rely on by captaining the falcons to the World Cup knockout stage for the first time for over 20years in France in a group that was touted the group of death.
Onome Ebi – Henan Huishang
If we say Ebi’s performance for the falcons has been awesome, then that is definitely an understatement because she has done more than enough for the Nigerian team, which got her cemented her placed in the women’s footballer of the last decade.
The Henan Huishang defender became the first African footballer to play in 5 world competitions, the 2008 Beijing Olympics and she also played in 6 AWCON winning the 2010 edition, 2014, 2016, and in 2018.
Talking about Ebi success at the national level won’t be complete without talking about her club success, she recorded success with FC Minsk when she left her Swedish club side and she was part of the Minsk side who won their league, the Women’s Cup and the super cup twice and she won two titles with Atasehir Belediyespor in Turkey.
With all of her achievements with Falcons, no doubt Ebi is definitely one of the most consistent women footballers of the last decade for the Falcons having featured in virtually all of Nigeria’s games and not thinking retirement soon.
Asisat Oshoala – Barcelona
Asisat established her legacy as one of Nigeria and Africa best of the decade since she broke into the scene, and since then she has won the golden ball and boot at the U20 Women’s World Cup in Canada before going on to win her first AWCON title in Namibia.
Asisat brilliant performance got her the move to Arsenal to become the first female player to secure a professional move to London, and before leaving the London based club she won the FA Cup with them.
At the international level, she’s also a mainstay player for the Falcons, helping Nigeria to the knockout phase for the time in two decades in France with her performance that put her on the front burner for winning her fourth African player of the year gong.
Evelyn Nwabuoku – En Avant Guingamp
Evelyn is one of the old warhorses of the Super Falcons, who played as a midfielder for the French club and she has also played for BIIK Kazygurt in the Kazakhstani women’s league.
The falcon’s midfield maestro also captained the team, at the 2017 AWCON where she said the team needed to improve on their performance and she also played a big role for the team at the 2012 AWCON.
The Guingamp midfielder major achievement with the Falcons was just the AWCON which she won in 2014, however, that doesn’t mean she’s isn’t one of the best players of the last decade with her all-round play and contributions to the team.
Rita Chikwelu – Madrid CFF
Rita justified her place in this list due to her longevity in the team, and critically what she always brings to the table anytime she played for Nigeria, coupled with the fact that she’s one of the experienced players still very much active despite her age.
No doubt her International career is filled with success, when she participated at the FIFA U20 World Cup from 2004-2008 and made her, during this time she was called into the senior national team for her debut in 2007 at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
She also played at the Olympic in 2008 in China, and the 2011 world cup, out of all the AWCON titles won by the Falcons she only won two in 2016 and 2018.
Francisca Ordega – Shanghai Shenhua
The Falcons forward Ordega played for the Nigeria team at all levels, with the U17, and the U20 at the world cup and at the senior level she played at the FIFA World Cup in 2011 and 2015.
She was also part of the Nigeria team at the AWCON in 2010 and 2014 winning both competitions during that, although at some point injuries didn’t allow her to showed the world some of her skills which made a lot of Nigerian fans fell in love with her.
However, in 2018 she also played an important role for the team as they went on to win the tournament scoring two goals and two assists, a breathtaking performance that won her the woman of the match award against Bayana Bayana of South Africa.
Osinachi Ohale – CD Tacon
Ohale is also one of the biggest players with the Falcons that we cannot do without talking about her contributions to the team, she represented Nigeria at the AWCON tournament in 2010, 2014, 2016, and 2018 winning of the titles with the Super Falcons.
The CD Tacon defender was also in the Nigerian team to the world cup in 2011, 2015, and 2019 where she also played as one the key cog of the team, as that Ohale success records with the clubs she turned out is also something that should be appreciated.
At 32 or thereabout the defender isn’t looking like someone that would lower her guard anytime soon, and all of this has surely made a case for her in making the list of female players of the last decade.
Perpetual Nkwocha – Retired
The old warhorse has participated in 7 CAF Women’s Championship in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 winning five of them in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2014.
Perpetual legendary status was evident at the 2004 African Women’s Championship where she scored four goals in the final against Cameroon to help Nigeria win the title, and she also set a record by scoring nine overall goals during the tournament and was named the best player of the tournament.
Nkwocha has been voted African Women’s Footballer of the Year in 2004, 2005, 2010 and 2011 by Confederation of African Football setting a record that was just recently equaled by Oshoala, the former falcons forward has also participated in four FIFA Women’s World Cup 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 as well as the Olympic tournaments of Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, and Beijing 2008.
In 2008, Nkwocha announced her plans to retire in two years, and that after doing so she wants to continue to be involved in becoming a coach, she might end been a good coach or not, but Nkwocha will forever be one of the best the world has ever seen play the round leather game of football.
Tochukwu Oluehi – Rivers Angel
Since Precious Dede left the seen, Oluehi has been that goalkeeper the super falcons have full confidence in, she has been very instrumental in all of Nigeria matches with her brilliant performance between the stick.
Her performance with Falcons got a move to Bobruichanka Bobruisk, where she played at the 2013-14 UEFA Women’s Champions League, before returning back to Rivers Angels after another stint with a Norwegian Toppserien club
Oluehi also played in three FIFA Women’s World Cup, and one time Summer Olympic games for Nigeria, she was also instrumental at the world cup for Nigeria, other players can’t be mentioned without including her because of what she has done with the falcons over the years.
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.
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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.