Asisat Lamina Oshoala MON (born 9 October 1994) is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Primera División club FC Barcelona Femení and the Nigerian women’s national team. Widely regarded as one of the greatest African female footballers of all time and one of the best in the world, she is the most decorated African female footballer of all time, and a record five time African Women’s Footballer of the Year.
Asisat previously played for English clubs Arsenal and Liverpool, Chinese club Dailan, and Nigerian clubs Rivers Angels and FC Robo. She won the 2015 FA Women’s Cup with Arsenal; two league championships and a cup title with Dalian; and the 2019–20 Copa de la Reina and 2019–20 Supercopa de España Femenina with Barcelona. She was the first African (and Nigerian) player to score a goal in a UEFA Women’s Champions League final and has helped Barcelona reach the semi-finals three consecutive years, and one final. On 16 May 2021, Asisat became the first African woman to win the UEFA Champions League, after Barcelona defeated Chelsea 4–0 in the finals. The following season, she became the first African woman to win the Primera División’s Pichichi Trophy, and in August 2022 became the first African woman nominated to the Ballon d’Or.
Asisat was the highest goal scorer at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and was named best player at the tournament. She was also named best player and second top goalscorer with the Super Falcons team who won the 2014 African Women’s Championship.
In September 2014, Oshoala was made a Member of the Order of the Niger by President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan. In 2021, she was named in the Forbes 30 Under 30.
On 23 January 2015, Oshoala joined Liverpool in England’s Women’s Super League. The club’s manager, Matt Beard, called her “one of the best young players in the world”. Although rumours had linked her with other clubs, she was very happy to join Liverpool. She was the first player from an African nation to compete in the top women’s league in England.
Despite missing two months of the 2015 season with a knee injury, Oshoala scored three goals in the nine games in which she played as defending champions Liverpool finished in seventh place. Her first goal of the season was the game-opener of a 2–1 win against Birmingham City on April 1. During the club’s 2–1 win over Manchester City, she scored the game-opening goal in the tenth minute. She scored the club’s third goal of a 3–1 win against Arsenal on 12 July.
In January 2016, Liverpool reported that a transfer bid from Arsenal had activated the release clause in Oshoala’s contract and that she was discussing personal terms with the London club.
In March 2016, Oshoala signed with Arsenal. Arsenal manager, Pedro Losa said of her signing, “Asisat is a fantastic talent and will be a great addition to our squad. She is quick, with excellent feet and has proven she can score goals so it’s very positive she has decided to join us.”
Oshoala helped Arsenal win the 2016 FA Women’s Cup Final on 14 May. The win marked the club’s 14th title. Oshoala made 13 appearances for the club during the 2016 season and scored two goals. She scored the game-winning goal in the 2–0 win against Notts County on 28 August. Arsenal finished in third place with a 16–4–2 record.
Dalian Quanjian: 2017–2019
On 10 February 2017, Oshoala signed with Chinese club Dailan. During the 2017 season, she scored 12 goals helping Dalian Quanjian win the league championship. She was awarded the league’s Golden Boot award for most goals scored. The same year, she scored four goals during the 2017 Women’s Super Cup and helped the club defeat Shanghai 5–3 to win the championship. In October 2018, she helped the club win the league championship for the second consecutive year.
FC Barcelona: 2019–present
On 31 January 2019, Spanish club FC Barcelona Femení signed Oshoala on a loan deal until the end of the season. On May 31, 2019, Barcelona announced her full transfer to the club and extension until 2022. She scored seven goals in her seven appearances for the club during the 2018-19 season. Barcelona finished in second place during the regular season with a 25–2–3 record.
Oshoala scored Barcelona’s only goal in a 4–1 defeat to Lyon in the 2019 UEFA Women’s Champions League Final. She was the first African (and Nigerian) to score in a Champions League Final.
During the 2019-20 season, Oshoala scored 20 goals in her 19 appearances for Barcelona. She scored her first goals of the season with a brace against Atlético Madrid on 19 September 2019. In October, she scored another brace against Madrid lifting Barcelona to a 4–0 win. On January 11, 2020, Oshoala scored four goals in a 6–0 win against CD Tacon. Barcelona finished in first place during the regular season with an undefeated 19–0–2 record. Oshoala’s 20 goals ranked second in the league following teammate Jenni Hermoso with 23.
Oshoala scored the game-opening goal in the fourth minute of the 2019–20 Copa de la Reina semi-finals against Sevilla. She provided assists on two the goals to lift Barcelona to a 6–0 win. Barcelona defeated Logroño 3–0 to clinch the championship.
On 21 August 2020, Oshoala provided the assist for Kheira Hamraoui’s game-winning goal in the 2019–20 UEFA Women’s Champions League quarter-final against Atlético Madrid lifting Barcelona to the semi-final.
On 24 March 2021, Oshoala scored the game-winning goal in the team’s 3–0 win over Manchester City during the first leg of the 2020–21 UEFA Women’s Champions League quarterfinals. On 16 May 2021, Oshoala became the first African woman to win the UEFA Champions League, after coming on in the 71st minute of the finals with Barcelona defeating Chelsea 4–0.
On 10 March 2022, Oshoala signed a two-year contract extension that would keep her at Barcelona until 30 June 2024.
Oshoala’s club coach Edwin Okon was serving as the national team interim manager when he gave her a debut senior cap in a friendly defeat by world champions Japan in September 2013.
Oshoala was named as the best player at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and was the top goalscorer at the tournament with seven goals. She was also named best player and second top goalscorer with the Super Falcons team who won the 2014 African Women’s Championship. She also won the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 2015. In September 2014, Oshoala was made a Member of the Order of the Niger by President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan.
On 8 June 2015, Oshoala scored her first 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup goal when she scored the team’s second goal in a 3–3 draw with Sweden in Winnipeg. After the team was defeated 2–0 by Australia and 1–0 by the United States, they did not advance to the knockout stages.
Oshoala was also a member of the Super Falcons team who won the African Women’s Championship in 2016 and 2018. She scored three goals in the 2018 Edition in Ghana.
Oshoala vice-captained the Super Falcons at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. During the team’s second group stage match against South Korea, she scored in the 75th minute lifting Nigeria to a 2–0 win. Oshoala was named Player of the Match. Her goal was nominated for Goal of the Tournament by FIFA. Nigeria finished third in Group A and advanced to the knockout stages where they faced two-time champions Germany and were defeated 3–0 in a controversial match heavily influenced by video assistant referee (VAR).
Style of play
Oshoala found success as a forward for Nigeria’s youth teams but made most of her early appearances for the senior national team as an attacking midfielder. She was nicknamed “Seedorf” after male footballer Clarence Seedorf and has also been referred to as “Superzee” by her teammates.