The Barcelona star has disclosed it took a lot of persuasions, promises and a time-bound agreement to be able to convince her parents to let her play football.
Coming from a background where only boys were permitted to be footballers, Asisat Oshoala’s parents were firm with their decision that she should pursue another career away from football.
The then-teenager was, though, convinced that she could play the game and make a good life out of it.
After several conversations and pleadings, her parents eventually shifted ground on their earlier insistence that she should quit playing.
Oshoala and her parents arrived at the agreement that she would give up her football dreams and study law instead if she does not make a success of it before the age of 20.
“In my country many families do not want girls to play sports, there is still that mentality,” the former Liverpool and Arsenal star revealed to El Mundo.
“Your main task is to get married and have children. My parents didn’t want me to play football and most of all they didn’t want me to become a professional.
“When I signed at 18 for Rivers Angels [the best team in Nigeria] I had to move to Port Harcourt [600 kilometres from Lagos] and leave the studies and they were against it.
“To convince them, I needed many hours of conversation, to reach agreements and, above all, to teach them that I was striving to fulfill my dream.”
But before Oshoala turned 20, she had found success with Nigeria’s youth teams, the highlight of which was being named the best player and claiming the highest goal scorer award at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. She then crowned it all with an African Women’s Championship (AWCON) title in 2014 with the Super Falcons. She was also named the tournament’s best player.
The 25-year-old has won three more AWCON titles since then and earlier in the year won a historic fourth African Woman Footballer of the Year award. Certainly, she has made her family proud.
“Now my parents are very happy with my performances, they are my biggest fans,” Oshoala continued.
“Before, my mother didn’t like football, she didn’t want to know anything, and now she follows all my matches and tells me about them. I am very happy for her change in attitude.”