Super Falcons striker, Desire Ugochi Oparanozie has announced retirement from football, after taking part in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Oparanozie, 29, announced her retirement in a statement shared via her X handle on Wednesday.
The Nigerian who plays as a forward in the Chinese Women’s Super League for Wuhan Jianghan University, wrote, “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. 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 ✍🏾.”
Oparanozie started his career ss a junior international and scored two goals in the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and three goals in the 2012 tournament.
She has been a regular member of the Nigerian national team since 2010, participating in the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments of 2011, 2015, 2019 and 2023.
In April 2019, she was named the new captain of Nigeria by coach Thomas Dennerby who praised Oparanozie 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 African Women’s Championship of 2010 and 2014, 2016 and 2018, winning all four tournaments. She scored crucial goals in both the 2014 and 2016 finals.
On 16 June 2023, she was included in the 23-player Nigerian squad for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 and missed a penalty in the shout-out against England in the round of 16.