SUPER Falcons star Desire Oparanozie has surprisingly called time on her football career barely one month after she represented Nigeria at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia.
The 29-year-old striker was in the Super Falcons squad to the World Cup and appeared in their final match, a penalty shootout defeat to European champions England in the round of 16 on August 7.
“To my fans, family, and friends, thank you for the show of love and support over the years. It’s time to take a bow, as I believe there’s no better time than now. I’m officially announcing my retirement from professional football for both club and country,” Oparanozie wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, today.
“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.
Desire Ugochi Oparanozie.”
The powerful striker came to prominence in 2010 as a teenager with the Falconets, scoring twice and powering the Nigerian team to the final of the FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup where they lost to hosts Germany.
She earned an immediate promotion to the Super Falcons that same year and was a consistent performer with the nine-time African champions until recent years.
Oparanozie battled with injuries and a falling out with the hierarchy of the Nigeria Football Federation, which adversely affected her international career.
She was kept out of the Super Falcons squad due to those two factors for a long time and only returned recently, which led to her involvement in the last World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Oparanozie began her football career with the Bayelsa Queens and took her talent to clubs in Russia, Germany, Turkey, France and China, where she last played.
She won four Women’s Africa Cup of Nations titles with the Super Falcons and memorably scored the winner against hosts Cameroon in the final in 2016.