Ex-Arsenal forward, Asisat Oshoala, tearfully accepted her third CAF African Player of the Year award on Thursday.
Oshoala picked up her third African Player of the Year award at the Confederation of African Football awards in Ghana this week.
The 23-year-old left Arsenal in February 2017 for Chinese club, Dalian Quanjian, and the Nigeria international claims everyone had written her off. However, this award proves otherwise and the forward was understandably tearful upon accepting it.
“When I left Arsenal a lot of people said ‘your career is going to be gone.’ But I told myself: ‘I can do this.’ And here we are today,” Oshoala said.
“I want to use this opportunity to encourage all the young girls out there – don’t let anyone talk you down, don’t listen to people, follow your heart.”
Oshoala fought off competition from Chrestina Kgatlana (South Africa) and Gabrielle Onguene (Rossiyanka/Cameroon) despite her national team not actually playing at all last year.
That takes some doing and by the looks of it, her dad couldn’t be prouder.
She also won the award in 2014 and 2016.
Since moving to China, Oshoala, who only made 11 appearances with two goals during her short time at Arsenal, has become her club’s top goalscorer (12).
Although many were sceptical about her move, she’s obviously enjoying her football there and getting recognised for it.
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah won the male African Player of the Year award after his superb showing for Jurgen Klopp’s side this season.
Unlike Oshoala, this is the first time the 25-year-old has won the prestigious award after netting 23 goals in 29 appearances so far.