Barcelona coach Llius Cortes has hailed Asisat Oshoala for her pace and power, a rare quality which was not easy for the Blaugranes to find.
The 24-year-old Super Falcons of Nigeria striker realised her dreams of joining the Spanish giants after sealing a loan move from China’s Dalian Quanjian in January.
Oshoala would go on to establish herself in the team, scoring eight goals after 11 games and made history as the first African woman to play and score in the Champions League final.
Her stellar performances convinced the club to hand her a two-year contract which will keep her in Catalonia until June 2022.
The Blaugranes missed out on the Spanish Iberdrola and Champions League titles last season and Cortes moved to boost his ranks in a bid for glory this season with five signings, including Oshoala.
The coach, who hopes to lead Barcelona to reclaim the Spanish league diadem for the first time in four seasons, admitted the unique qualities in Oshoala earned her a permanent deal.
“It’s the squad we wanted and the one we asked for,” Cortes told Spanish newspaper, Sport.
“The club made a huge effort to put this squad together, the signings are the ones we wanted and I think we’ve been successful in that sense.
“We’ve also been able to promote some players from the youth teams, which is good because it gives meaning to the way we play and the work we’re doing.
“The feeling is we have a complete squad with a lot of competition. Oshoala, we all saw at the end of last season. She has pace and power which is tough to find in any player nationally.
“Seeing how we’ve worked in the preseason, I think it’s a good sign because we’ve taken every game like a Champions League final.”
Barcelona have made a strong start to their title quest with a 9-1 thrashing of newly-promoted side CD Tacon, followed by a 2-0 Champions League Round of 32 first-leg advantage over Juventus.
Cortes will be hoping that fine form of Oshoala and his solid squad to surpass last season’s achievements.