Former Nigerian women’s captain Desire Oparanozie has announced her retirement from football at the age of 29.
Oparanozie confirmed the decision in a statement on Wednesday, bringing the curtain down on an illustrious career.
She thanked fans, family, friends, coaches and teammates for their support during her journey to the top.
“It’s time to take a bow, as I believe there’s no better time than now,” Oparanozie wrote.
“Thank you Nigeria for giving me the opportunity to represent my great nation,” Oparanozie said as she bowed out.
The striker became a key figure for Nigeria after progressing through the youth ranks, making over 60 appearances.
She helped the Super Falcons win the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations four times in 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2018.
Her versatility, skill and goalscoring prowess made her one of Africa’s leading talents.
After emerging in Nigeria with Bayelsa Queens and Delta Queens, Oparanozie spent six successful years in France with Guingamp.
She later had spells at Dijon and in China, becoming the first African to play in the Chinese Women’s Super League.
Oparanozie suffered heartbreak in her final Nigeria appearance at last summer’s World Cup.
She missed a penalty as the Super Falcons agonisingly lost to England in the round of 16.
But Oparanozie can look back proudly at an illustrious career for club and country.
Her retirement marks the end of an era for the Super Falcons.
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