Eniola Aluko is a Nigerian who plays for Chelsea Ladies FC and the first female footballer of African descent to be named for a PFA award. She is also the first female footballer of African descent to appear twice in a PFA award, having been named to the WSL Team of the Year category in 2015.
Born in Lagos, the 30-year-old grew up in England, where her career in football kicked after she got signed to play for the Birmingham City Ladies at the age of 14. Since then she’s been so successful that, within twelve years, she has played for six clubs – three of which are American.
Although she has made it clear that she supports Nigeria, Aluko chose to play for England in international competitions. She scored two goals in 2005 when England achieved its biggest win by thrashing Hungary 13-0.
Aluko has continued to blaze the trail in women’s football. In 2003, she won the ‘Young Person of the Year’ award at the Football Association (FA) Awards. In 2014, she made history as the first female football pundit on BBC’s show, Match of the Day.
Two years later, she won the Golden Boot for scoring nine goals in 16 games. In addition to that, she became the first female athlete in the UK to be signed by US sports brand, Under Armour, which already had superstar tennis player, Andy Murray, and heavyweight boxing champion, Anthony Joshua, as its ambassador.