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NADIA NADIM – AFGHAN BORN DANISH FOOTBALLER

She was born in Afghanistan. Her father was murdered by the Taliban when she was 11 years old and her family fled to Denmark on the back of a truck.  Nadia has scored almost 200 goals in professional football and represented the Danish National Team 98 times.   She’s completed medical school and is studying to become a reconstructive surgeon when her playing days are over. She speaks 11 languages fluently and is on the Forbes list of Most Powerful Women in International Sports.

Nadim was born in Herat and raised in Afghanistan until her father, an Afghan National Army (ANA) General, was executed by the Taliban in 2000. Her family then fled to Denmark, where she began her football career, playing for B52 Aalborg and Team Viborg.

CLUB CAREER

After her family fled to Denmark, she began her football career, playing for B52 Aalborg, Team Viborg from 2005 to 2006 and IK Skovbakken from 2006 to 2012, before moving to Fortuna Hiorring in 2012. She made her Champions League debut in September the same year, scoring both goals in a 2–1 win over Scottish Champions Glasgow City.

SKY BLUE FC

Nadim joined NWSL club Sky Blue FC near the end of the 2014 NWSL season. Playing in 6 games, she scored 7 goals and registered 3 assists. She was named player of the week on 19 August and player of the month for the NWSL on 14 August. On 16 February 2015, Sky Blue announced that Nadim had been signed to play for Sky Blue in the 2015 season as well.

PORTLAND THORNS FC

On 14 January 2016, Nadim was traded to Portland Thoms FC Playing as a striker, she finished the 2016 season as the team’s top scorer with 9 goals in 20 games as the team won the 2016 NWSL Shield. In the 2017 season, she helped the team to a second-place finish in the league and victory in the NWSL Champion game.

MANCHESTER CITY

On 28 September 2017, Nadim signed for FIFA Women’s Super League side Manchester City for the 2018 season. She joined the club in January 2018, and made her debut with Manchester City on 7 January 2018 in a 5–2 win over Reading. After six minutes on the pitch, she scored her first goal for the team, and 26 minutes later she made an assist when Manchester City scored their second goal in the match. In her second match for the team, she scored the winning goal in a 1–0 victory over Chelsea in the semi-final of the Continental Tyres Cup.

On 26 July 2018, while on the US tour with Manchester City, the BBC reported that Nadim had requested a transfer out of the club, stating that she had never felt at home there and wanted to leave. On 19 December 2018 Manchester City announced that Nadim would be departing the club and her contract would be terminated on 1 January 2019, allowing her to sign with another club.

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN

On 3 January 2019, Nadim signed for Paris Saint-Germain.

On 9 July 2019, Nadim extended her contract for Paris Saint-Germain after a successful first season. Nadia was later rewarded with the captain’s armband and named the team’s vice captain for the 2019–20 season. Nadia has so far this season scored 13 goals and made 13 assists in 16 league and cup games.

Racing Louisville FC

On 9 June 2021, Nadim signed with Racing Louisville, returning to the NWSL four years after leaving Portland Thorns FC for Manchester City.

STYLE OF PLAY

Nadim is recognized for her energetic and determined style of play. She is successful from the penalty spot, having converted all but one of her penalties in the NWSL (and with the one miss being a block by the goalkeeper and immediately scored by Nadim) and both of her attempts at Euro 2017.

INTERNATIONAL CAREER

Under Danish Nationality Law Nadim could not apply for citizenship until turning 18 years old in 2006. When citizenship was eventually granted in 2008, FIFA Eligibility Rules blocked Nadim from playing for Denmark, because she had not yet been resident for the requisite five years after turning 18. A subsequent challenge from the Danish Football Association (DBU) led to FIFA’s legal department making an exception to the rules in Nadim’s case.

Nadim immediately became a member of the Denmark National Team, making her debut in the 2009 Algarve Cup in a 0–2 defeat by the United States. In doing so, she became the first naturalized Dane to represent a Denmark senior national football team.

She participated in all three of Denmark’s games at UEFA Women’s Euro 2009 in Finland.

She was named in national coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller’s Denmark squad for UEFA Women Euro 2013 In Denmark’s opening group match against hosts Sweden Nadim featured as a substitute in an eventful 1–1 draw.

In the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 tournament, she was instrumental in Denmark’s advancement, scoring the tying goal in Denmark’s eventual 2-1 over favourites Germany in the knockout stages, and scoring a go-ahead goal in the final, which Denmark ultimately lost to host Netherlands 4–2.

27th October 2020, Denmark had to win away against Italy to qualify for the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022, and Nadia was crowned player of the match after scoring 2 crucial goals in Denmark’s 3-1 win over Italy in Florence. The two goals secured Denmark’s spot in the upcoming Euros

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