Former captain of Nigeria’s senior women’s national football team, Desire Oparanozie has announced her retirement from professional football at the age of 29.
In a statement shared on social media on Wednesday, Oparanozie thanked her fans, family, friends, and teammates for their support during her career. She also expressed gratitude to all the clubs and coaches she has worked with, as well as her opponents on the pitch.
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… pic.twitter.com/QClEeujx8C
— oparanozie desire (@oparanozie9) September 13, 2023
Oparanozie, who currently plays club football in China, first rose to prominence playing club football in Nigeria before moving to Europe where she competed in Russia and France. She spent nearly six years with French club, Guingamp, between 2014/2020, making over 100 appearances.
At the international level, Oparanozie was a key member of the Super Falcons. She helped the team win the African Women’s Championship four times and competed at four FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments in 2011, 2015, 2019 and this year. Her last match was against England at the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, where she missed a crucial penalty kick.
In her retirement statement, Oparanozie thanked Nigeria for the opportunity to represent her country. “Thank you football, thank you Nigeria,” she wrote, signaling the end of an impressive career at the highest level of the women’s game.