Top 10: African women of the decade

Elizabeth Addo 8 Elizabeth Addo is the only Ghanaian who made the list

Wed, 25 Dec 2019 Source: goal.com

Desire Oparanozie (Nigeria & Guingamp)

She is one of the best African strikers of the decade, but has been under-celebrated for her numerous achievements and quality.

Oparanozie is not only dangerous and fast but also physically very robust and strong in duels. She's weighed in with a series of important goals in recent years.

Ever since her youth, she has distinguished herself as a talented striker, finding the net five times in back-to-back U-20 Women's World Cup events two years after her U-17 outing in New Zealand.

Since 2010, she has been part of the Super Falcons, scoring crucial goals in the 2014 and 2016 finals to celebrate four African Women's Cup of Nations titles. Notably, in 2014, the 26-year-old also emerged top scorer with five goals at the Awcon in Namibia.

This summer, she captained the country to the Women's World Cup knockout stage for the first time in 20 years in France.

Elizabeth Addo (Ghana & Jiangsu Suning)

Addo is one of Ghana's most successful women football players in history; a fantastic midfielder with great scoring ability.

After launched her career with Tesano Ladies in 2006, she went on to play for Nigerian club Rivers Angels, ZFK Spartak Subotica of Serbia, Hungarian side Ferencvaros, and Kvarnsvedens in Sweden.

In the US, Addo also starred for Seattle Reign, Australian club Western Sydney Wanderers and, this year, won a quadruple with Chinese club Jiangsu Suning as well as a silver medal at the inugural Asian Women's Club Championship in her debut season.

At international level, Addo played for the Ghanaian U-14s, U-17s, U-20s and U-23s national teams as well as the senior side.

Since making her Black Queens debut in 2012, she has earned over 25 caps, including at both the 2016 and 2018 Women's Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, scoring 10 goals.

Onome Ebi (Nigeria & Henan Huishaing)

Ebi is Africa's most consistent women's footballer of the decade, having featured in virtually all of Nigeria's games in international competitions held in the 2010s.

She hit the milestone last July as the first African to play in five Fifa World Cups following her appearances at the 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019 editions of the tournament.

The veteran defender won two titles with Atasehir Belediyespor in Turkey, and featured in the Uefa Women's Champions League with Minsk in Belarus. Despite being a defender, she is also fantastic in front of goal, scoring eight times for her Chinese side Henan Huishiang in the last two seasons.

At 36, she has won four African Women's Cup of Nations titles, and was named Nigeria's Women's Player of the Year 2018.

She's still not thinking of retirement any time soon!

Janine Van Wyk (South Africa & Houston Dash)

Van Wyk stands out as one of the most decorated South African female athletes in history.

At Palace Super Falcons, she was a three-time Sasol league winner at club level and went on to gain professional experience abroad, playing in the US with Houston Dash and, currently, with Danish club Fortuna Hjorring.

The veteran defender will always be remembered for her famous goal for Banyana Banyana that denied reigning African champions Nigeria silverware at the 2012 African Women's Cup of Nations.

Before gaining 172 South Africa caps—more than any of her compatriots in history, Van Wyk was part of Banyana's back-to-back outings at the Olympic Games in London 2012 and Rio 2016, where she was the captain of the national side.

She is also the first skipper to lead South Africa to a maiden senior World Cup event.

At 32, she is not considering retirement from international football just yet after lifting her fourth Cosafa Cup title in August. She is the founder of JVW, who won the 2019 Sasol League National Championship, thereby earning a promotion to the top flight.

Ange N'Guessan (Ivory Coast & Tenerife)

N'Guessan is easily recongised on the field for her speed, movement and brilliant finishing in the colours of the Les Elephants.

The 29-year-old starred as Cote d'Ivoire upset South Africa at the 2014 African Women's Cup of Nations to qualify for a maiden Women's World Cup in Canada.

In 2015, the 29-year-old scored twice, her goal against Norway was voted as one of the ten best goals of the World Cup, and she became the first African female to sign for Barcelona in 2017 after her Champions League exploits with Gintra Universitetas and Anorthosis Famagusta, where she netted 17 goals in 13 games.

The Tenerife star helped Cote d'Ivoire eliminate Nigeria to reach the fourth round of the Caf 2020 Olympic qualifiers and was nominated for the 2019 African Women's Player of the Year award.

Gaelle Enganamouit (Cameroon & Malaga)

Enganamouit shot into prominence on the international stage when she scored the fastest goal in women's football history, after just two seconds, for Spartak Subotica in Serbia!

The 27-year-old starred in Cameroon's first Olympic Games in London 2012 and then their first Women's World Cup three years later in Canada.

She scored a hat-trick in the 6-0 group win over Ecuador to become the first African to score three in a Women's World Cup match during the 2015 edition, and capped that year by winning the Damallsvenskan top scorer award with 18 goals.

She also won the 2015 African Women's Player of the Year prize, and was nominated for the BBC Women's Footballer of the Year 2016.

Gabrielle Onguene (Cameroon & CSKA Moscow)

Arguably the best winger of the decade, with her ability to create chances, her dribbling and pace in wide areas for the Indomitable Lionesses.

Born to former Cameroon international and coach Jean Manga Onguene, Gabrielle made her Indomitable Lionesses debut in 2008. Her goal ensured Cameroon edged South Africa in the semis and they went on to claim gold at the African Games in 2011.

The Canon Yaounde product scored Cameroon's only goal at their Olympic Games outing in London 2012, and was named the tournament's Best Player as the Central Africans finished second at the 2016 African Women's Cup of Nations.

She also played at two Women's World Cup finals (2015 and 2019), registering a goal in each.

At club level, Onguene won three titles with Cameroonian side Louves Miniproff de Yaounde, and played for Russian side Rossiyanka before joining CSKA Moscow, where she lifted her first domestic title in Europe this year.

As at 2019, she was is in the race for the Africa Women Player of the Year award for the fifth year in a row and has been a finalist on three occasions.

Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria & Barcelona)

Oshoala established her legacy as one of Africa's best of the decade since she shot into the international limelight in 2014.

That year, she claimed the Golden Ball and Golden Boot at the U-20 Women's World Cup in Canada, before winning the first of her three African Women's Cup of Nations title in Namibia.

The 25-year-old went on to claim the inaugural BBC Women's Player of the Year prize, three African Women's Player of the Year gongs along with Nigeria Sports Awards and Nigeria Pitch Awards among others.

She became the first African female player to secure a professional move to England after joining Liverpool in 2015, and, a year later, moved to Arsenal where she won the FA Cup.

In a search for greener pastures, she signed for Chinese club Dalian Quanjian, where she won four domestic honours in two seasons before making a surprise loan switch to Barcelona in Spain.

Having scored eight goals in 11 games for Barcelona on an initial loan spell, including her side's only goal in Champions League final against Lyon, she earned a three-year permanent deal in June. She also became the first African to play and score in the European elite women's club competition.

Before the start of the season, she was on target as the Catalan giants won the 2019 Copa Catalunya Cup - her first silverware. Overall, she has scored 17 goals in 19 league outings for the Spanish giants in 2019.

At international level, she inspired Nigeria to a Women's World Cup knockout phase for the first time in two decades in France this summer which is putting her in pole position for a fourth African prize.

Source: goal.com