Africa Women’s Footballer of the Year, Asisat Oshoala, has won the inaugural edition of the British Broadcasting Corporation Women’s Footballer of The Year on Tuesday.
Oshoala beat four other nominees to the award, which was presented to her by the BBC’s Caroline Rigby at the Nigerian camp in Canada.
The Liverpool forward, who is the youngest of the nominees, won the highest number of votes from fans all over the world to beat Spain’s Veronica Boquette, Germany’s Nadine Kessler, Scotland’s Kim Little and Brazil’s Marta.
Oshoala’s performances at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2014, where she was the Most Valuable Player and highest goal scorer, and the Africa Women’s Championship, where she also emerged the best player of the tournament, endeared her to the hearts of football fans worldwide.
The excited former Rivers Angels forward said the award will motivate Nigeria to go for the World Cup in Canada, which begins in June.
“I am extremely proud to have won this award as it is a real honour for me and my family,” she told the BBC at the award presentation.
“Just to be nominated against such world-class players was a rare privilege, but to have won the award is absolutely fantastic.
“It is a really good thing for us as a team because we now know that we have something great and now we want to go at the trophy. We can do it, we did it in 2014, we can also do it this year as well.”
Oshoala also believes that her win will serve as a spring in the feet of many women footballers in the country.
“There is going to be a lot of motivation for women’s football in Nigeria now because of this award because there are a lot of fans out there. Support for women’s football in Nigeria is now growing very high.
“Last year was an incredible year as I managed to help Nigeria U20s get to the U20 World Cup final, as well as being named African Women’s Footballer of the Year, so this award tops off a great year.
“I know my Liverpool Ladies coach is going to be happy right now. Before I left the United Kingdom, he called me and said to me ‘don’t worry I hope you win the award and we’re going to celebrate it when you come back’.”
Oshoala, who became the first African footballer in the Women’s Super League, signed for Liverpool in January.