Did you see the Under-20 men world cup in Poland? Pity our country couldn’t make it past the round of sixteen. Don’t you worry; we are about to be treated to another major event in sport; the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. Guess what? Our dear country, Nigeria, ladies would be donning the bright green to do us proud.
As part of our motivation for the female child, we would bring you the best of the events with our various packages; one of which is, “Five Questions with a Sport Mavin.” So, who is our maiden mavin?
Ugochi Desire Oparanozie is a Nigerian football forward, who is currently part of the team that would be representing Nigeria at the tournament in France. She is the captain of the Super Falcons. She had previously represented the country in 2011 and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cups and the 2010 and 2012 FIFA under-20 Women’s World Cups, scoring three goals in the latter. She represented us at the 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2018 African Women’s Championship, winning all four and scoring a free kick in the final of 2014. Currently, she plays for Guingamp of France in the Division 1 Féminine, where she has had 39 goals in 92 appearances. She is a mavin and our guest for this edition of Five Questions with a Sport Mavin.
Let us not forget: she has a foundation, “Desire Oparanozie Foundation” where she supports the aspiration of every African child. In her words, “A single encounter can change the course of one’s life, irrespective of their background or challenges.”
So, what does she have for us? Here we go!
Question 1: At what point did you decide to be a footballer and what was your motivation?
Desire: I realized it when I was in secondary school. It was then that I knew how good I am, hence, made the decision to become a footballer. My motivation came from passion; passion for the game.
Question 2: How did people regard you as a female footballer? Do you think there is a subtle difference from how a female football would be regarded?
Desire: It is always pleasant and fulfilling when people recognize or see me. Of course, there is always a slight difference between us (females) and our male counterparts.
Question 3: Do you think some adjustments should be made to accommodate the physiological make up of female footballers?
Desire: No. I don’t think any adjustment should be made.
Question 4: What would you advise to girls out there, trying to become footballers too?
Desire: My advice remains the same: Be sure first, recognize it is football you want to play. Then, pursue it; give it your all. Work hard and never relent.
Question 5: Can you share one each of your proud and trying moments?
Desire: One of my trying moments was when I had an injury that made me stayed off for months.
There you go: the truth from the horse’s mouth. Dear, the only limitation to what you can be is your mindset, not your gender. Football, sciences or whatever passion you have, the sky is your limit if you follow your dream with diligence, focus and dedication.
Until we meet again on another package on the ‘SlayBaller 2019’ campaign; ciao; adios; bye!