Ebere ORJI (NGA)
****Lightning quick, technically gifted, deadly in front of goal and bursting with energy, Ebere Orji is the brightest young star in Nigerian women’s football. In impressive appearances at three FIFA tournaments to date, the 18-year-old has convincingly shown she boasts the potential to be named among the world’s elite, sooner rather than later. The finals in Germany represent a stern, but intriguing test of her progress along that path.
Back in 2008, she was among the goals at both the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile, as the Falconets earned their spurs on the world stage. She came within a hair’s breadth of a major coup last summer, contributing two goals and four assists as the powerful Nigerians charged to an unexpected, but fully deserved, runners-up place at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany.
We’re back in Germany, and my goal is to make the final again.
She is now poised to step onto the greatest stage of them all. "We’re back in Germany, and my goal is to make the final again. We’d be the first African team to make the final of such a high-ranking tournament, so we’d again be making footballing history," Orji exclusively told FIFA.com, discussing the eagerly-awaited FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011™.
Orji is the fifth of seven children from a family with boundless passion and commitment to football. The ambitious winger symbolises and embodies the recent resurgence of the women’s game in Nigeria. The rising star, who plays her club football for home town outfit Rivers Angels, feels Nigeria are set to surprise the established big names in the women’s game, saying, "We’re not afraid of anyone!"