Super Falcons goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie, recently shared why her biological father initially opposed her choice to become a footballer, Soccernet.ng reports.
Nnadozie gained prominence during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup for her remarkable penalty save that prevented Nigeria from losing to Olympic Champions, Canada.
However, before her rise to stardom, she faced discouragement from her dad regarding her football aspirations.
Her father, who had personal experience in football, pointed out that her cousin had also tried but didn’t succeed in making a living from the sport. Despite this, Nnadozie remained steadfast in her determination to follow her passion.
“Whenever I went to play soccer, he would always tell me, ‘Girls don’t play football. Look at me. I played football, but I didn’t make it. Your brother, he played, [but] he didn’t make [it]. Your cousin played, [but] he didn’t make it. So why do you want to choose this? Why don’t you want to go to school or maybe do some other things?'” she revealed, as quoted by CNN.
Nnadozie’s journey took a significant turn when she made her World Cup debut in 2019, emerging as a formidable shot-stopper.
Her role as Nigeria’s starting goalkeeper in the team’s 2–0 victory over Korea made her the youngest goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet at the World Cup, and she began to realise that her career choice was the right one.
“Initially, I was the second goalkeeper in the team. During the second game, when the coach told me I would be playing, I was very scared because I was still very, very young. I was crying,” Nnadozie admitted.
Not only has Nnadozie excelled at the national level, but she has also made significant contributions at her club. Most recently, she saved a crucial penalty as Paris FC defeated Wolfsburg 2-0, securing their place in the group stage of the UEFA Women’s Champions League for the first time in a decade.