‘My Dad is Going to be Proud’ – Chiamaka Nnadozie, 2023 CAF Women’s Goalkeeper of the Year

By Duchess Magazine

Chiamaka Nnadozie, the standout goalkeeper for Paris FC, secured the coveted title of the 2023 CAF Women’s Goalkeeper of the Year. However, what makes this achievement even more poignant is Nnadozie’s disclosure on the podium in Marrakech, Morocco – a disclosure that her father, initially unsupportive of her football aspirations, witnessed her crowning glory.

Nnadozie graciously expressed her gratitude during her acceptance speech, acknowledging the organizers, the Nigerian football president, her club Paris FC, and all who supported her. “I am a product of Nigerian female football,” she declared proudly, underlining the importance of the ecosystem that nurtured her talent.

The Paris FC goalkeeper’s triumph was not without its emotional undercurrent. “My dad never wanted me to play,” she confessed, revealing a personal struggle against familial resistance. Yet, in a heartening twist, she added, “I am sure he is going to see this tonight, and he is going to be happy.” This revelation adds a layer of triumph to her success, showing that dreams can indeed come true against odds and initial skepticism.

Nnadozie’s journey to this accolade was marked by stellar performances, both on the international stage with Nigeria’s Super Falcons and at the club level with Paris FC. Her crucial role in Nigeria’s spirited run at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, propelling the team to the round of 16, showcased her prowess and resilience.

Despite narrowly missing the CAF Women’s XI to South Africa’s Andile Dlamini, Nnadozie’s impact remains undeniable. Her heroics in the penalty shootout for Paris FC, securing their place in the Women’s Champions League group stages, further solidified her reputation as a goalkeeper of exceptional skill.

Starting her career at Rivers Angels in Nigeria before making the leap to the French club in 2020, Nnadozie’s story is one of determination and triumph over adversity. Her journey serves as an inspiration, not only for aspiring female footballers but for anyone facing resistance in pursuing their dreams.

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