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Rosella Ayane: Introducing Tottenham forward & Heineken All-Invitational captain

7:19 PM IST 26/04/22
Rosella Ayane of Tottenham Hotspur
The Morocco attacker has the potential to be one of the stars of African football

She may have only made her international debut for Morocco in 2021, but already, Rosella Ayane appears set to become one of the standout names of African football.

The 26-year-old will also be featuring in the upcoming Heineken All-Invitational in South Africa, where she will be captaining one of the sides primed to feature in this unique exhibition match between football legends and stars of the present day.

Rosella Ayane: Who is Spurs attacker?

No stranger to fans of the FA Women’s Super League, Ayane has been with Tottenham Hotspur ever since their promotion to the top-tier in 2019.

She broke into the senior ranks with Spurs’ rivals Chelsea in 2013, having come through the youth ranks with the Blues, but managed only six league games with the West London side.

Instead, she honed her craft on loan with the likes of Millwall, Bristol City and Everton, before seeking a change of scene upon her departure from Chelsea in 2016, having played her part in the WSL and FA Women’s Cup triumphs of 2015.

A move to Cyprus and Apollon Limassol represented a change in fortunes for Ayane, who netted 14 goals in 15 league games—and 19 in 19 overall—to make the Players' Team of the Season.

It was at Apollon that she also tested herself in the Champions League, netting against NSA Sofia on her debut for the Cypriot First Division side.

She returned to England with Bristol City in August 2018, before signing on for Tottenham Hotspur 11 months later.

Rosella Ayane: Morocco’s latest star

Despite being born in Reading, England, Ayane has the potential to be one of the most prominent faces in the North African and African game.

She represented England at U17 and U19 level between 2011 and 2015, again proving her aptitude for the big game with a goal on her debut for the U19s.

Last year, however, after months of speculation, she opted to commit to Morocco, the land of her father.

As she had done with England U19s and Apollon, she scored on her debut for the Atlas Lionesses—scoring against Mali in a friendly in June 2021—and has gone on to establish herself as a key figure in the national team set-up.

She netted again against Atletico Madrid in October ’21, and at the time of writing, has netted four goals in her last three matches for Morocco—against Moldova, The Gambia and Ghana.

Now, Ayane has her sights set on the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations—set in her homeland—where she will look to extend her goalscoring run and help the North Africans into the latter stages of the tournament.

Rosella Ayane’s latest challenge: Heineken All-Invitational

The Heineken All-Invitational Exhibition match is a one-of-a-kind 5-a-side football match that will bring together some of the genuine legends of the game.

Rosella Ayane will be captaining one of the teams, facing off against an opposition team, skippered by Kristine Lilly.

The exhibition bout will take place at Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg on May 14, as some of football’s biggest names – including international stars, male and female – compete in this unique showdown.

For Heineken, the event is a perfect opportunity to celebrate the diversity that exists in football – both on the field and among supporters – and to challenge pre-conceived notions about the sport having a male-dominated fanbase.

Supporters keen to watch the event will be able to follow the clash on SuperSport, SuperSport’s Showmax Pro, or streamed live via Facebook.

This one-off event is sure to be a must-watch sporting spectacle.