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Oshoala returns to Barcelona training after missing Nigeria’s Wafcon campaign with injury

09:40 GMT+3 31/08/2022
Barcelona Femeni striker Asisat Oshoala and Nigeria
The Super Falcons striker is on the path to full fitness ahead of the new season following nearly two months out due to a ligament strain

Nigeria striker Asisat Oshoala has returned to training with her club Barcelona after nearly two months out with an injury that saw her ruled out early in the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco in July.

Oshoala suffered a medial collateral ligament strain in the Super Falcons’ 2-1 defeat to eventual winners South Africa in their opening match of the tournament and the five-time African Player of the Year had to watch from a distance as she focused on her recovery.

Barcelona confirmed Oshoala’s return on Tuesday in what will be a boost for coach Jonatan Giraldez ahead of the new season.

"This Tuesday at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper was the first training session since the start of the international exodus,” the club said via a statement.

"Among the few footballers that the coaching staff has been able to count on the field were Asisat Oshoala, Laia Codina, and Nuria Rabano. All three have started to work with the group, given the process of recovery from their respective injuries."

Nigeria struggled to get going at the Wafcon without their top striker, finishing a disappointing fourth following a 1-0 defeat to Zambia in the third-place playoff, despite starting the tournament as favourites to retain their title and make it a record-extending 10 overall.

Oshoala will be hoping for another successful season with the Spanish side, having won a domestic treble of league, Super Cup and Copa de la Reina in 2021-22.

The Super Falcons striker showed her quality in Spain once more, winning the Golden Boot Award having netted 20 league goals despite missing two months of action due to a thigh injury.

Barcelona won all their 30 games while scoring 159 goals and Oshoala played a major part to win the Pichichi award, her efforts receiving praise not just in Nigeria and Spain but also from Fifa who called her ‘unstoppable.’

Oshoala finished the season with 20 goals in 19 league matches, and managed one a piece in the Copa de la Reina and the Champions League, outlining her status as one of the world’s finest strikers.

It was the second season the former Arsenal and Liverpool player had hit the 20-goal mark after achieving a similar feat in the 2019-20 campaign.

She could have won more had Barcelona defended their Champions League crown but Giraldez's side fell 3-1 to French giants Lyon in the final.