Five-time African player of the year Asisat Oshoala scored two goals and set up two more to help Barcelona to a club record 9-0 win over Benfica in the Women’s Champions League on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old Nigeria international set up Patricia Guijarro and Aitana Bonmati early on before netting twice, including a superb long-range strike, as last season’s beaten finalists started their campaign in emphatic style.
The former Liverpool and Arsenal striker was voted player of the match as the 2020-21 champions recorded their biggest European win and laid down a stunning marker in their Group D opener.
“We have to send a message to all the teams that we will be going all-out this season as always,” Oshoala told Uefa TV.
“Personally, the goals are not the most important thing but [how] the team play and how I try to help the team.”
Oshoala battled injury setbacks last season and was then ruled out of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in July after damaging knee ligaments in Nigeria’s opening game.
However, 20 league goals in Barcelona’s league title-winning campaign helped her place 16th of the 20 players shortlisted for the women’s Ballon d’Or, which was retained by her teammate Alexia Putellas of Spain.
“I had my first 90 minutes of football [of the season],” added Oshoala.
“I think I put in more effort to help my team-mates, to get better, to try and play some good football and entertain the people. And of course I got two goals so I’m happy.”