Nigeria Lose Out Again as Barcelona Femeni Star Gets Maiden Spain Call-Up

Barcelona Femeni star Vicky Lopez | Imago

Nigeria Lose Out Again as Barcelona Femeni Star Gets Maiden Spain Call-Up

Ayoola Kelechi 14:10 - 20.02.2024

Nigeria's hopes of getting the Barcelona Femeni star to play for the Super Falcons was dealt a crucial blow after she was invited to play with the Spanish senior national team

Vicky Lopez, the Barcelona Femeni sensation, received her first call-up to the Spanish senior women's national team. This invitation comes ahead of Spain's UEFA Women’s Nations League semi-final clash against the Netherlands, scheduled to take place at the Estadio Olimpico de Sevilla. 

This milestone in Lopez's burgeoning career not only marks her debut in the senior national setup but also dims the hopes of the Nigerian football community, who had harbored aspirations of seeing her don the Super Falcons' colors.

A Rising Star

At just 17, Vicky Lopez has already etched her name in the annals of Barcelona's storied history, becoming the youngest goal scorer for the club's senior team with her strike in a 7–0 demolition of Levante Las Planas in January 2023. 

Her prowess was again on display when she netted her first goal for Barcelona B in a 3–0 victory over Athletic Club B. Lopez's exceptional talent was further recognized in October 2023, as she found herself among the finalists for the European Golden Girl award, a prestigious honor bestowed by Italian sports newspaper Tuttosport on the best Under-21 footballer playing in Europe.

International Recognition

Lopez's international career with Spain has been equally promising. She has previously shone for the Spain women's national under-17 football team, where her outstanding performances earned her the Golden Ball as the best player at the 2022 FIFA under-17 Women's World Cup. 

Despite her strong ties to Spain, Lopez also holds eligibility to represent Nigeria through her mother, sparking interest from the African nation in securing her allegiance.

Nigeria's interest in Lopez was not without merit. The Super Falcons, one of Africa's most successful women's football teams, have continually sought to bolster their squad with top-tier talent. However, Lopez's call-up to the Spanish senior team for a high-stakes match against the Netherlands signifies a pivotal moment that likely concludes Nigeria's pursuit of the young starlet.

Super Falcons miss out on prodigious Barcelona star

For Nigeria, Lopez's decision to advance her international career with Spain represents another missed opportunity to attract a player of dual nationality with immense potential. As the Super Falcons continue to scout for talent that can elevate their team, the saga of Vicky Lopez serves as a reminder of the competitive nature of international football and the challenges associated with securing players of dual heritage.

Vicky Lopez's maiden call-up to the Spanish senior women's national team is a landmark achievement that underscores her rapid ascent in the world of football. While Nigeria may feel a sense of loss at her choice, the focus will undoubtedly remain on nurturing and developing talent within their ranks. As for Lopez, her journey with Spain is just beginning, and the football world will be watching with keen interest as she takes her first steps on what promises to be an illustrious international career.

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