Last updated: 3 July 2023
3 min read

In Partnership With Rebel Girls

Asisat Oshoala

Despite her parents not wanting her to focus on football, Asisat never gave up. Discover how she managed to balance her studies and football to give her the platform to turn professional.

Football Stories: Asisat Oshoala

Asisat Oshoala. Striker, Nigerian. Born: 9 October, 1994.

Every day after school, Asisat played football in the streets of her hometown of Lagos in Nigeria. She would return home with bruises and skinned knees, but to her, there was nothing better. Asisat’s parents weren’t supportive of her spending so much time on football, though.

For a long time, Asisat didn’t consider playing football professionally. One day, Asisat was playing in a local tournament. As usual, she brought her all to the pitch, sprinting, passing, and scoring. A coach asked her if she would join their team. Asisat felt a pang in her heart. She knew her parents wouldn’t approve. She had to say no. Asisat continued to play on the side while studying at university.

It wasn’t until her stunning performance in the U-20 Women’s World Championship that she realized she was good enough to be a professional footballer. She was the highest goal scorer in the tournament! That night, she won the Golden Ball and Golden Boot trophies. Asisat never gave up and ultimately followed her heart where it told her to go.

“Dear Rebels,

The bad game must not define you.

It should encourage you to do better.

Never allow a defeat you suffer define the kind of champion you are.
Champions are always strong. They are powerful, exceptionally motivated.

Sometimes, we are discouraged because we don’t know how much potential
we have gathered over the years. One thing I know is that you can fight
your fear.

You can change the whole world with your courage. Be encouraged.

Never give up!"

— Asisat Oshoala

Meet other Rebel Girls

Back to .com/play

Football Stories: Asisat Oshoala

Illustrations by Natalia Agatte.

Originally published: 1 July 2023