Liverpool FC and Nigeria international forward Asisat Oshoala has won the inaugural BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year award.
The 20-year-old beat Germany’s Nadine Kessler, Scot Kim Little, Brazilian Marta and Spain’s Veronica Boquete to the prize, as voted for by football fans around the world.
“I would like to say thank you to the BBC, to my fans around the world and to everyone who voted,” she told the BBC.
Oshoala claimed the Most Valuable Player and the adidas golden boot at the 2014 Fifa U-20 Women’s World Cup after scoring the highest numbers (5) of goals in the tournament as Nigeria narrowly lost to eventual champions Germany in Canada.
That former Rivers Angels forward was also a member of the Super Falcons squad that claimed a record extending seventh African Women Championship in Namibia earlier in the year.
She was also named African Women’s Footballer of the Year at a gala ceremony organised in Lagos by Caf and Globacom Nigeria Limited in January.
Nigeria thus earned the right to participate in this year’s Fifa Women’s World Cup which begins on 6 June, also in Canada.
“It’s 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,” she said. “We can do it, we did it in 2014 we can also do it this year as well.
“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.
“I know my Liverpool Ladies coach is going to be happy right now. Before I left the UK 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 is the first African to feature in the Women’s Super League following his transfer to Liverpool Ladies in January.