Desire Oparanozie, the esteemed striker of the Super Falcons of Nigeria, has officially proclaimed her retirement from football at both club and country levels. Oparanozie, in a heartfelt announcement made via X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday, conveyed her gratitude, saying, “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.”
Oparanozie continued, “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’s swansong on the football pitch occurred during the recently concluded 2023 Women’s World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand last month. In her final appearance, the 29-year-old, entering as a substitute, faced the pressure of a spot-kick but was unable to find the net, ultimately witnessing the Super Falcons bow out in a dramatic 4-2 penalty shootout against the Three Lionesses of England in the tournament’s second round.
Debuting for the Super Falcons of Nigeria in 2010, Oparanozie etched her name in the archive of women’s football, gracing the Women’s World Cup in 2011, 2015, 2019, and the most recent 2023 edition. Her illustrious career also saw her contribute significantly to the Super Falcons’ triumphs in the 2010, 2014, 2016, and 2018 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) championships.
Beginning her club journey at Bayelsa Queens, Oparanozie eventually transitioned to Delta Queens before embarking on a successful sojourn overseas. Before her tenure at Wuhan Chegu Jianghan FC, she plied her trade in European football, showcasing her talents in countries such as France, Turkey, and Germany.