The Eight edition of the FIFA Women’s world cup takes place in France from 7th June to 7th July 2019. Twenty Four teams will compete in nine cities across France to earn the title of World Champion. Africa will be represented by Cameroon, Nigeria and South Africa. Traditionally African Countries have not performed well.
Here is our watch list of the football stars that could make a difference and rewrite history.
1) DESIRE OPARANOZIE (NIGERIA)
Ugochi Desire Oparanozie was born on the 17th December, 1993. She is a Nigerian football forward last playing in the Division 1 Féminine for Guingamp and the Nigerian national team. Looking at the Nigerian team in the Womens World Cup, all eyes would be on their star and goal scorer Desire. As she received the Golden Boot in 2014 African Women’s Championship and has always showed up for the team, Nigerians would be looking up to her to once again take up the goal scoring role and see their team through the group stages.
Oparanozie played the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments of 2011 and 2015.As a junior international she scored 2 goals in the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and 3 goals in the 2012 tournament. Oparanozie has featured in the Nigerian teams of the African Women’s Championship of 2010 and 2014, 2016 and 2018 winning the four competitions and scoring a free kick in the 2014 final.
2) THEMBI KGATLANA (SOUTH AFRICA)
Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana was born on 2 May 1996. A South African football forward who plays for Beijing BG Phoenix F.C. in the Chinese Women’s Super League and is a member of the South Africa Female national team. Kgatlana is a prolific striker with incredible ability. She is currently in the 2019 Women’s World Cup and has already scored a goal from her first match despite losing the match.
She has represented her country at the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations, where she won the Player of the Tournament and was the highest goal scorer. She is a player that many would be looking out for in the ongoing World Cup.
3) FRANCISCA ORDEGA (NIGERIA)
Francisca Ordega was born on the 19th October, 1993. Currently one of the top players for the Nigerian female football team and is one of the African stars to look out for in the 2019 Women’s World Cup. She plays professionally for Shanghai Shenhua in the Chinese Women’s Super League.
Francisca has also been nominated for best female African footballer. She was part of Nigeria’s squads at the African Women’s Championship of 2010 and 2014, winning both tournaments and won the woman of the match award at the final game against South Africa
Definitely a player to watch out for in the ongoing Women’s world cup.
4) MARIE-AURELLE AWONA (CAMEROON)
Marie Aurelle Awona is a Cameroonian football player who plays as a defender for French club Dijon and the Cameroon national team. Marie is one of Cameroon’s star defenders to look out for in the current Women’s World Cup. She is a disciplined defender who can quickly turn defence into attack.
On 28 May 2015, she was selected in Cameroon’s 23-player squad for 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. After not playing the first two matches she made her FIFA Women’s World Cup debut on 16 June 2015 in a 2–1 win against Switzerland in the last group stage match. She also started the next match in the Round of 16 against China.
Marie is young and talented and is looking cause trouble for many strikers in the ongoing Women’s World Cup.
5) ODE FULUTUDILU (SOUTH AFRICA)
Ode Fulutudilu was born on the 6th February 1990. Fulutudilu is a footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Málaga CF. From fleeing war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, to representing Banyana Banyana and playing professional football in Spain, Ode Fulutudilu is a torch-bearer for women’s football in South Africa. She is one of Bayana Bayana’s top stars and would be expected to show her quality in the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
She played for the Banyana Banyana at the 2014 African Women’s Championship. Fulutudilu hasn’t been part of the Banyana set-up in recent months with her last cap coming against Chile in October 2018, but she is still hoping for a recall ahead of the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.