By Amaechi Agbo
Former Super Falcons Captain, Desire Oparanozie has announced her official retirement from football at the age of 29 years.
The Imo State born star announced her departure from football on Wednesday, September 13.
“To my fans, family, and friends, thank you for the show of love and support over the years. It’s time to take a bow, as I believe there’s no better time than now. I’m officially announcing my retirement from professional football for both club and country,” she said on her social media accounts.
She thanked all the coaches who tutored her , players she played with and against as well as fans for their support in making her Footbal career a memorable one.
“To every team and coach I have played for, to every mate I’ve played alongside, and to every opponent I have played against, thank you all for being part of this incredible journey. Thank you football, thank you Nigeria.- Desire Ugochi Oparanozie”
During her 13 years career, Oparanozie played for nine different clubs taking off from Bayelsa Queens of Bayelsa State in 2010.
She navigated other clubs such as Delta Queens FC 2010 to 2012: Lüleburgaz 39 Spor in Turkish (loan); WFC Rossiyanka in Russia, 2012-2013; Wolfsburg in Germany (2013-214) and Belediyespor in Turkey on loan.
Her other clubs include: Guingamp Féminines in France where she spent the greater part if6 her career spanning 2014 to 2020. She joined Dijon in 2020 to 2022 before she left for Asia where she joined China’s Wuhan Jianghan University F.C.
She played 35 games for Super Falcons scoring 22 times and was a member of the team in four World Cups – 2011, 2015, 2019 and 2023
In April 2019, she was named the new captain of Nigeria by coach Thomas Dennerby who praised her for her ‘discipline and good character’.
Following the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, in her role as captain, she led calls for equal pay in Nigerian football citing disparity with the bonuses received by the team’s male counterparts.
She has also been part of the Nigerian squads of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, AWCON of 2010 and 2014, 2016 and 2018 and 2022 winning all four tournaments.except the last edition in Morocco.
She won Won the AWCON four times, Nigeria Women’s Football League, NWFL twice and claimed the Golden Boot of the 2014 AWCON
Her last international match was against the Lionesses of England in the Round of 16 clash at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia in August. She came in as a substitute in the counter but missed her spot kick during the penalty shootout.
She later apologized.