Super Falcons of Nigeria and Piteå IF of Sweden defender, Faith Ikidi has been named in the Top 100 Female footballers of 2017 by VAVEL UK.
Ikidi played a key role in Super Falcons success at the 2016 African Women Nations Cup in Cameroun, where the Florence Omagbemi-led team defeated the host nation, Lionesses of Cameroun, 1-0 in the final.
Before the AWC in Cameroun, past handlers of the Falcons had ignored Ikedi. She last featured for the Falcons at the 2011 edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany, where Nigeria recorded one victory against Canada in the city of Dresden, their first and only victory since USA ’99 World Cup.
But US-based Coach Omagbemi decided to include her in the defence line up to the AWC in Cameroun, a decision that yielded dividend as the former Bayelsa Queens defender provided adequate cover for goalkeeper Alaba Jonathan throughout the duration of the championship. She even scored Nigeria’s first goal against the Harambee Starlets of Kenya in the 4-0 victory in the team’s last group match at the hilltop Omisport Stadium in Limbe.
Ikidi is ranked 32nd on the latest list of best footballers in the World, according to a report by allnigeriansoccer.com yesterday.
”Over the years, the Swedish Damallsvenskan has been home to a number of great centrebacks and Faith Ikidi is up there with the best of them, and this season she has arguable been one of the best, if not the best defender in Sweden,” the website wrote on Ikidi.
”One of the first names on the team-sheet, Ikidi played every second for Piteå this season and was key in PIF’s defensive rigidity, the Northern most team in Damallsvenskan boasting the fewest goals conceded over the course of the year.”
Nominated as the best defender at the Swedish Football Awards, Ikidi eventually lost out to Swedish international, Jessica Samuelsson.