Ubogagu is a 28-year-old English forward who delighted Brisbane fans in the W-League while on loan to the Roar from NWSL outfit Orlando Pride last year.

She was supremely impressed with the quality of the W-League as well and reached season-peak form under Aussie coach Melissa Andreatta in the competition, which helped burgeon her move to the world's biggest football club, Real Madrid.


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There she's set to spearhead Real Madrid Feminino's ambition to eclipse the likes of Olympique Lyon, Paris Saint Germain and her former club, Arsenal, to gun for a Champions League medal.

Her journey to the pinnacle of women's football has been echoed by many former W-League stars this season, who now represent the biggest clubs in the world.

It's a reminder as the W-League prepares to suffer under the weight of Australian football's financial disaster that the quality and opportunities this league provides are something to be extremely proud and protective of.

“International players are coming in, homegrown players are growing (by) playing with international players, it’s a good experience," she said about the W-league.

“We (had) a blend of young players who are attacking-minded…and we have people like Yuki (Nagasato) who’s won a World Cup.

“It speaks volumes to the Australian culture,” said Ubogagu. “Right off the bat, I’ve felt truly welcome, I felt I could give my opinion even if it’d been one or two weeks. 

“Everyone was extremely receptive and that just speaks volumes of what Mel’s done and what the staff’s done and the girls, too. 

“I think it’s awesome. It’s really cool when you do all those things off the field right and then on the field you’re rewarded.”

Ubogagu was almost roped into the World Cup-winning USA WNT by former Matildas boss Tom Sermanni, but resisted overtures to pledge her national allegiance to the land of her birth, England.

Ubogagu had a tough time growing up in the UK, her Nigerian parents divorced young and her father died suddenly when she was 13. She was walking three kilometres to training every day, with little financial support.

But her journey to superstardom, through Brisbane of all places, has stayed with her and left her with a sense that her life and career isn't totally of her own control, but rather - like many footballer's believe - part of a bigger spiritual path.

“Life isn’t a steady course,” she told These Football Times.

“You’re going to have your ups and downs. My faith has always been my stable point, my tranquillity and it’s always kept me grounded.

"When it’s a contract year or a transfer year, like I didn’t know if my move to Madrid would go through, I didn’t know if I’d go to the World Cup.

“There’s always uncertainty and doubt and you need to have your faith. Clearly the World Cup wasn’t for me and for reasons maybe I can’t understand, but my mum always told me, ‘if it’s for you, it won’t miss you’.

"I’ve really tried to embrace my journey, enjoy it as much as I can and my faith is a big part of that. Jobs will fail you, people will fail you, but I believe God won’t.”


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