Ugochi Desire Oparanozie, widely known as Desire Oparanozie, is a veteran Nigerian footballer who has left an indelible mark in both national and international football arenas. Born on December 17, 1993, in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria, Oparanozie’s passion for football ignited at a young age, leading her to a remarkable career that has spanned across various leagues and championships.
Desire Oparanozie’s Early Life and Education
Desire Oparanozie hails from a Christian family of Igbo tribe in Imo State, Nigeria. Growing up in Owerri, she embraced football as her primary hobby, dedicating herself to the sport throughout her formative years. Alongside her athletic pursuits, Oparanozie completed her primary and secondary education, highlighting her commitment to both her studies and her beloved sport.
Oparanozie’s journey in football commenced at Bayelsa Queens in the Nigerian Women’s Championship before making a move to Delta Queens in 2010. Her talents soon earned her a loan stint with Düvenciler Lisesispor in the Turkish Women’s First Football League in 2011, further solidifying her reputation as a rising star.
In 2012, Oparanozie ventured to Rossiyanka in the Russian Women’s Football Championship, making her presence felt in the 2012–13 UEFA Women’s Champions League with a memorable goal. The subsequent season saw her sign a two-year contract with Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg, demonstrating her ambition to excel on the global stage.
Despite facing challenges in her tenure with Wolfsburg, Oparanozie’s determination never wavered. She went on to join Ataşehir Belediyespor in the Turkish Women’s First Football League, marking another significant chapter in her illustrious career. In 2014–15, she joined Guingamp in the French Division 1 Féminine, a move that would further elevate her profile.
Oparanozie’s leadership qualities came to the fore when she was named captain of Guingamp for the 2019–20 season, a testament to her influence on and off the field. Her contributions did not go unnoticed, and she was celebrated by her devoted fans who honored her with a bus-stop named after her in Guingamp.
In June 2020, Oparanozie signed a 2-year contract with Dijon FCO, showcasing her unwavering commitment to the sport. Her journey continued to evolve, culminating in her signing with Wuhan Jianghan University in the Chinese Women’s Super League for the 2022 season.
Oparanozie’s impact extended to the international stage, where she represented Nigeria in the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments of 2011, 2015, and 2019. Her exemplary discipline and character earned her the captain’s armband in April 2019, a role she embraced with grace and determination.
Advocacy for Equal Pay
As captain, Oparanozie fearlessly advocated for equal pay in Nigerian football, shedding light on the disparities in bonuses received by the women’s team compared to their male counterparts. Her advocacy brought attention to an important issue and inspired positive conversations surrounding gender equality in sports.
Desire Oparanozie’s Net Worth
With a storied career and an unwavering dedication to the sport, Desire Oparanozie has amassed an estimated net worth of $1.5 million, a testament to her enduring impact on the world of football.
Desire Oparanozie’s Personal Life
Desire Oparanozie is married to Velislav Rusev, although details about her husband remain private. Their partnership stands as a pillar of support in Oparanozie’s journey to excellence on and off the field.
- Q: What are Desire Oparanozie’s notable achievements in international football? A: Desire Oparanozie has represented Nigeria in three FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments (2011, 2015, and 2019) and has been a pivotal player in securing victory in several African Women’s Championships.
- Q: How did Desire Oparanozie become an advocate for equal pay in Nigerian football? A: As captain of the Nigerian national team, Desire Oparanozie used her platform to raise awareness about the disparities in bonuses between the women’s and men’s teams, sparking a crucial conversation about gender equality in sports.
Desire Oparanozie’s journey from Owerri, Nigeria, to becoming a stalwart in international women’s football is nothing short of inspirational. Her leadership, advocacy, and unwavering dedication to the sport continue to pave the way for future generations of female athletes. With a net worth of $1.5 million, Oparanozie’s impact transcends the field, leaving an enduring legacy in the world of football.