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Onome Ebi, Marching Into The History Books

Onome in Urhobo dialect means “My own”. For sure, this name has rub off on the life of this beautifully built footballer who is gradually marching into the history books as one of the oldest player living or dead that has featured in six FIFA World Cup ever.

Surely, she will be our own when she would feature in 6th FIFA World Cup Tournaments. At the last WAFCON tournament in Morocco, Onome Ebi was 39 years and was the oldest player to play in that tournament.She was with the Super Falcons at the just concluded Revelation Cup in Mexico.

The defence maestro made her debut for the Super Falcons in 2003 and has since gone on to win 4 WAFCON trophies.

Onome Ebi was born on 8 May 1983. She played
as a centre-back for Spanish Liga F club FC Levante Las Planas before it was mutually terminated at the end of 2022 /2023 Football season and the Nigeria women’s national team. In 2019 she became the first African footballer to play in 5 FIFA World Cup Tournaments.

She played for Bayelsa Queens FC in the Nigerian Women League before moving to Piteå IF and Djurgårdens IF in Sweden’s Damallsvenskan. Ebi said “I enjoyed my stay in Turkey because of the good weather. Going to Sweden was a different ball game, as the cold weather made it difficult for me to play good football. The amateur nature of the Swedish league made me launch a return to Turkey for Ataşehir Belediyespor FC in the First League.”

She then played for Turkish sides Düvenciler Lisesispor and Ataşehir Belediyespor at the First League. She made her Champions League debut in August 2012 while playing for Ataşehir Belediyespor.

Ebi returned to the Swedish Damallsvenskan in 2013 to play for Sunnanå SK before going to Belarus to play for FC Minsk in the Belarusian Premier League. While there, she was a member of the team that won the Belarusian Premier League, the Belarusian Women’s Cup and the Belarusian Women’s Super Cup twice.

In both club and international competitions, Ebi plays as the number five in the team due to the significance it holds for her. When she arrived at Minsk, the jersey number was already taken, so she asked for the number 55 instead.

Ebi became a member of the Nigerian national team. On 6 July 2019, she became the first African Footballer to play in five Fifa World Cup Tournaments, taking part in the 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015, 2019 editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Ebi was also a member of the Nigerian squad in the 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018 editions of the African Women’s Championship, winning the tournament four times 2010, 2014 2016 and 2018 .

She won the Turkish Women’s First Football League with Ataşehir Belediyespor in 2011–12, 2012–13
In Belarus she FC won the Belarusian Premier League in 2014, Belarusian Women’s Cup in 2014 and Belarusian Women’s Super Cup in 2014 and 2015 with FC Minsk

At the international level, Onome won the
African Women’s Championship in 2010, 2014, 2016, 2018 with Super Falcons, and was voted as NFF-Aiteo Female Player Of The Year in 2018 and the
IFFHS CAF Woman Team of the Decade 2011–2020.

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