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Nadia Nadim, the Danish striker who escaped the Taliban

Euro 2017

Nadia Nadim, the Danish striker who escaped the Taliban

Nadim celebra un gol


The 29-year-old was born in Herat and helped her adoptive nation into the Euro 2017 semi-finals on Sunday with a goal against Germany.

Nadia Nadim, Denmark’s 29-year-old striker whose goal levelled the game against holders and tournament favourites Germany in the European Championship quarter-finals on Sunday, arrived in the country at the age of 12 in 2000. She did so after fleeing Afghanistan when the Taliban still held the country in its grip and after her father, an Afghan army general, had been executed by the fundamentalist group.

After she and her family found their way to Denmark, Nadim discovered a love for football and started playing for B52 Aalborg, from where she moved to Viborg, IK Skovbakken and Fortuna before making the move to the US first with Sky Blue FC and then Portland Thorns, where she top-scored as the team won the 2016 NWSL title.

Denmark's international battle with Fifa

Nadia Nadim scoring against Germany.

However, her international career was put on hold as she was unable to apply for Danish citizenship until the age of 18, finally becoming nationalized in 2008. The Danish FA though had to enter into a legal wrangle with Fifa as Nadim still had not met the necessary residency time parameters of five years citizenship after turning 18. When she was finally cleared to represent Denmark, Nadim made her international debut in 2009 against the USA, become the first naturalized Dane to represent a senior Denmark side.

She has since amassed 71 caps and scored 20 times for her country, her latest goal helping the side to a third European Championship semi-final, having scored from the spot in the nation’s unsuccessful last-four shoot-out against Norway in 2013.


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