Nigerian and Liverpool footballer Asisat Oshoala has won the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year. The 20-year-old forward is the first player to win the new award from the BBC World Service, which is voted for by football fans around the world.
Asisat Oshoala said: “I would like to say thank you to the BBC, to my fans around the world and to everyone who voted. I feel very happy and appreciated. It’s a very good thing for me and also motivation for the World Cup. I had a very good 2014 and had the opportunity of going to the under-20s Women’s World Cup with Nigeria and also won the Golden Ball and Golden Boot so I think maybe that added to the reason why people voted for me.”
The winner was revealed on World Have Your Say on the BBC World Service. Oshoala, who is already in Canada ahead of the World Cup, was presented with the award by the BBC’s Caroline Rigby, project lead on BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year, and the programme also included interviews with Edwin Okon, Head coach of the Nigeria senior women national team, and Nigeria Captain Evelyn Nwabuoku. Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard also sent his congratulations: “Congratulations to Liverpool Ladies’ Asisat Oshoala on being named BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 2015.”
Asked whether she felt the award was a boost before the Women’s World Cup, Oshoala said: “It’s a really good thing for us as a team because we know we have something great and now we want to go at the trophy. We can do it, we did it in 2014,