Ladies in Sports (LIS) on Friday in Lagos bided a fond send forth to legendary Super Falcons Forward Desire Oparanozie, who announced her retirement from the round leather game, last month at the age of 29.
The event was partnered by Nike and Coca-Cola and took place at the Nike Store, City Mall, Ikeja, in attendance were some top individuals in the world of Sports.
The striker became a key figure for Nigeria after progressing through the youth ranks, making over 60 appearances.
She helped the Super Falcons win the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations four times in 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2018.
Her versatility, skill and goalscoring prowess made her one of Africa’s leading talents.
After emerging in Nigeria with Bayelsa Queens and Delta Queens, Oparanozie spent six successful years in France with Guingamp.
She later had spells at Dijon and in China, becoming one of the first Africans to play in the Chinese Women’s Super League
Reflecting on the lasting legacies she laid during her days at the Super Falcons, including everywhere she played football professionally, the Convener of Ladies in Sports (LIS) and chief host of the event, Tega Onojaife hailed the Imo born forward for being a source of inspiration for young aspiring women footballers both on and off the pitch.
“She can look back to a glittering and illustrious career, spanning over 14 years, from her days in Bayelsa Queens & Delta Queens, playing for the Nigerian Women U-20 team at the World Cup in 2010, appearing in four senior FIFA Women’s World Cups, winning four WAFCON Titles, three Junior World Cups , playing in Russia, Germany, Turkey, France and China. We can go on and on.
“She gave her all and deserves to be celebrated. She had a fulfilled career as a footballer. We sincerely want to appreciate everyone that made this possible, our partners, Nike and Coca-Cola and everyone that made it out here today. We are indeed grateful.”
NFF Board Member and Head of Women Football Committee, Aisha Falode and Sporting Lagos Chairman Godwin Enakhena also spoke glowingly about the former Dijon striker.
In her remarks, the former NWFL Chairperson hailed the hardwork and dedication Desire Oparanozie put in her lofty career, describing her as a role model for young women footballers coming up.
Desire’ lone goal against the host Cameroon in 2016 is ever green in the hearts of Nigerians and Confederation Of African Football.
Also present at the event, were Olympic Gold Medalist and Deputy Commissioner of Police (Rtd) Chioma Ajunwa, Brand Manager, Nike, Bukola Fayemi, Marketing Manager, Nilayo Sports Management Limited, Chidinma Ezi Uka, Jenny Anusiem, CEO, Imo Angels, Super Eagles Media Officer, Babafemi Raji, Super Falcons Media Officer, Oluchi Tobex Tobe-Chukwu, CEO Lily Legends, Amarachi Lilian Eze and many other top women sports journalists.