Francisca Ordega is a Nigerian professional footballer currently on the books for Atletico Madrid on loan from Washington Spirits.
Born in Gboko, Benue State, the Nigerian began her playing career as a 15-year-old with Nigerian Women Football League side, Bayelsa Queens, before moving to Rivers Angels in 2011.
In 2012, Ordega left Nigeria to join Russian champions, Rossslyanka of the Russian Women’s Football Championship. And after just one season with the team, the Nigerian moved to Piteå IF in the Swedish Damallsvenskan. Between 2013 and 2015, she made 34 appearances and scored 4 goals for the Swedish side, before she moved to Washington Spirits.
In her time with the Spirits, the 25-year-old’s remarkable form and performance earned her a regular spot on the club’s team-A as an ace forward.
Ordega created one the most memorable moments for the Spirits when she scored an extra time goal in a National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) semi-final game, to send the Spirits to its first ever NWSL Championships.
In December 2016, Sydney FC signed Ordega on loan from the Spirits for the rest of the 2016/2017 W-League season, making her the first African to play in the Australian W-League. She made six appearances, scoring once for the Australian side who finished the league in 3rd place.
In October 2017, Atletico Madrid signed Ordega on loan from Washington, where she helped the Spanish side win the Primera Division title in the 2017/2018 football season.
Internationally, Ordega has represented Nigeria at all levels.
- 2010 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup
- 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup
- 2013 FIFA Women’s World Cup
- 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
She was also part of the Super Falcons team who won the 2010, 2014 and 2016 Africa Women’s Championships.
The three-time African champion is a phenomenal hero both on and off the pitch.
Being born in a state where the poverty level is alarming, Ordega understood the need to give back to the people, hence the Francisca Ordega Foundation (FOF) was created. The FOF is a charitable body designed to help and inspire indigent children across the world, grow into model citizens who will in turn help others like themselves become better.
Regarding life after her playing career, the Nigerian has begun the process to become a certified coach in the United States of America. She is among the 21 National Women’s Soccer League players taking part in the free Grade C Coaching License Coaching course organised by U.S. Soccer.
Despite still having a lot of playings years ahead of her, Ordega believes coaching will be a good career shift when she is no longer in playing form, as she hopes to one day handle the Super Falcons of Nigeria.