Representing your country on the international stage is the crowning achievement of most professional footballers’ careers.

Receiving the call-up to the England squad has been a slightly different affair for Brisbane Roar and Orlando Pride striker Chioma Ubogagu.

Born in England to Nigerian parents, Ubogagu moved to America when she was only three. The 26-year-old is eligible to represent all three countries – and says her diverse cultural background has played a huge part in fostering her career.

“I’m blessed for my type of upbringing because it gave me a lot of perspective,” she said.

“All three countries play a different style of football – it’s helped me take a little bit of each and merge it into my own game.”

Long a part of the US youth setup, the choice to accept a call-up for England has raised some eyebrows. But after joining Phil Neville’s side, the attacker has got her eye on an appearance in next year’s Women’s World Cup.

“It’s been a weird experience. The timing just came to a point where it felt right,” she said.

“At first I was in America and I was around that system – I loved my U-20 experience.

“I thought that’s what it would maybe be like at the senior level but the fit for me on the England team, talking to Phil (Neville) and those girls, just felt right for me in my moment.

“I really want to play in a World Cup, I think that’d be amazing. Hopefully if I keep maintaining the call-ups with England they’ll give me the opportunity to do the Euros as well.”

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Ubogagu’s professional journey after college football at Stanford has seen stops at Arsenal – the club she’s supported since childhood – Houston, Orlando and now Brisbane.

She now finds herself in Queensland with fellow Orlando Pride team-mate Carson Pickett, and Ubogagu says the Pride duo have slotted straight into Mel Andreatta’s Roar side with impressive aplomb.

 

“I appreciated Mel took the time to watch my games and was really familiar with how I like to play,” she said.

“The Roar play the same the system as Orlando, so it was just a good fit and a great opportunity to play in another country and improve my game.

“I love competing and at the end of the day when a team accomplishes a goal there’s just so much happiness, the amount of effort going into something like that (winning the championship).”

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