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Super Falcons star Oparanozie announces retirement from football


Desire Oparanozie, the Super Falcons’ all-time leading scorer, has announced her retirement from professional football.

The 29-year-old made the announcement on her X (formerly Twitter) handle on Wednesday.

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,” she tweeted.

Oparanozie started her football career with Bayelsa Queens in the Nigerian Women’s Championship before making a move to Delta Queens in 2010. She then went on to play for clubs in Turkey, France, and China.

On the international stage, Oparanozie represented Nigeria at the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, where the Falconets reached the final, though ultimately losing 2-0 to the host nation, Germany.

She made her debut for the Super Falcons in 2010, and went on to score 22 goals in 35 appearances.

She was a vital member of the Super Falcons’ squads that clinched victory in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in 2010, 2014, 2016, and 2018. She also played at four FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments: 2011, 2015, 2019, and 2023.

Oparanozie is a two-time African Women’s Footballer of the Year, and was named to the FIFA FIFPro World XI in 2018. She is considered one of the greatest female footballers of all time.

In her retirement announcement, Oparanozie thanked her fans, family, and friends for their support over the years.

Thank you football, thank you Nigeria,” she said. “I will always cherish the memories of my time as a professional footballer.”