Super Falcons forward & Wuhan Jianghan FC Desire Oparanozie has announced her retirement from professional football, Reelradio.com.ng reports.
Oparanozie, who enjoyed a hugely successful career both at the club and international levels took to her official X account (Formerly called Twitter) to reveal her decision to retire on Wednesday, September 13, 2023.
“To my fans, family, and friends, thank you for the show of love and support over the years. It’s time to take a bow, as I believe there’s no better time than now. I’m officially announcing my retirement from professional football for both club and country…”
“..To every team and coach I have played for, to every mate I’ve played alongside, and to every opponent I have played against, thank you all for being part of this incredible journey. Thank you football, thank you Nigeria. Desire Ugochi Oparanozie.”
Oparanozie started her career at Bayelsa Queens in the Nigerian Women’s Championship and moved to Delta Queens in 2010. She then spent 2 months on loan at Düvenciler Lisesispor in the Turkish Women’s First Football League in 2011, before returning to Delta Queens.
In 2012, she joined Rossiyanka from the Russian Women’s Football Championship, with them she played four matches at the 2012–13 UEFA Women’s Champions League, scoring one goal.
Oparanozie joined Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg for the 2013–14 season signing a two-year contract.In the first half of the season, she only appeared in one game, and mostly played for Wolfsburg’s second team. In the winter, after half a season, she left Wolfsburg. On 21 February 2014, Oparanozie transferred to Ataşehir Belediyespor to play the second half of the season in the Turkish Women’s First Football League.
For the 2014–15 she joined Guingamp of the French Division 1 Féminine, where she was joined by Nigerian international captain Evelyn Nwabuoku during the following season.
Ahead of the 2019–20 season, Oparanozie was named club captain and began her leadership reign well with a win over Metz on the opening day of the season.
On 30 June 2020, Dijon FCO announced that She had signed a 2-year contract.
After leaving Guingamp, a bus-stop has been named after Oparanozie in Guingamp by her fans after her long stay at the French football club.
Oparanozie joined Chinese Women’s Super League club Wuhan Jianghan University for the 2022 season.
As a junior international she scored 2 goals in the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and 3 goals in the 2012 tournament.
Oparanozie has been a regular member of the Nigerian national team since 2010, participating in the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments of 2011, 2015, and 2019.
In April 2019, she was named the new captain of Nigeria by coach Thomas Dennerby who praised Oparanozie for her ‘discipline and good character’.
Following the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, in her role as captain, she led calls for equal pay in Nigerian football citing disparity with the bonuses received by the team’s male counterparts.
She has also been part of the Nigerian squads of the African Women’s Championship of 2010 and 2014, 2016 and 2018, winning all four tournaments. She scored crucial goals in both the 2014 and 2016 finals.
On 16 June 2023, she was included in the 23-player Nigerian squad for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.