Rasheedat Busayo Ajibade (born 8 December 1999) is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays for Spanish Primera División club Atlético de Madrid and the Nigerian women’s national football team. She is nicknamed “RASH”, a shortened form of her first name, and is also called “The Girl With The Blue Hair”, an ode to her bright-blue hairstyle which she dons whenever she takes onto the field.
Early Life and Career
Ajibade represented Nigeria at age-grade competitions, before making her competitive debut for the senior team at the 2018 WAFU Cup in Côte d’Ivoire. In 2017, she was named first in a top 10 list of most promising young footballers on the African continent by Goal.com.
Ajibade played for FC Robo from the 2013 Nigeria Women Premier League season till 2018 season. In 2014, she was listed as one of the best young talents in the league. In September 2018, she won the Nigerian women football freestyle competition for the second consecutive time.
During the 2015 Nigeria Women Premier League week 2 games, Ajibade was listed in the team of the week, compiled by Soccerladuma South Africa, despite her team losing to Confluence Queens during the round of matches. For the 2017 Nigeria Women Premier League season, Ajibade was made team captain of FC Robo. Ajibade was one of the scorers in Robos’ home win against Ibom Angels during the season. On 13 July 2017, after losing to visitors Rivers Angels, Ajibade was quoted by SuperSport to rue her team chances of qualifying for Super 4, because of the difference in points and the limited number of games remaining. Ajibade won the first edition of Nigeria National Freestyle Championship, which is a competition to promote freestyling football. In 2017, despite Robo not being among teams that finished tops, Ajibade was voted player of the season after scoring eight goals to save her team from relegation. In May 2018, she was nominated as the best player in the 2017 Nigeria Women Premier League at Nigeria Pitch Awards. In December 2018, Ajibade was reported to have signed a two-year contract with Norwegian side, Avaldsnes IL, a team that plays in the Toppserien. On January 1, 2021, Atletico Madrid announced the signing of Rasheedat Ajibade on a two-year deal. In January 2022, Rasheedat Ajibade extended her contract with Atletico Madrid for a further three years, until 2025.
Ajibade has represented Nigeria at under-17, under-20 and senior national team. In the African qualifiers, en route to the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, Ajibade scored a brace for Nigeria’s first leg win over Namibia. At the competition proper, Ajibade scored the winning goal in Nigeria’s first game against China. In the final group game against Mexico, Ajibade scored a goal in Nigeria, two goal win to seal a quarter-final game with Spain.
Ajibade was named in Coach Bala Nikiyu 21-man squad for 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, wearing jersey number 10. At the competition, Ajibade was the captain of Nigeria, and spoke to FIFA.com on the determination of the team to do better than the quarter-final finish they had in 2014. Ajibade was also part of Nigeria players at 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, she was named man-of-the-match in the second group game against Canada.
In the first round encounter to determine Africa’s representative at 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, Ajibade scored a brace in the first leg tie against Tanzania, that gave Nigeria a three-goal advantage before the return leg in Dar e Sallam. In the return leg, played in October 2017, Ajibade scored two goals in Nigeria six goal win against the home-side. On 27 January 2018, Ajibade scored two goals in Nigeria’s six goal win against South Africa, the win confirmed Nigeria’s qualification for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in France.
In February 2018, Ajibade alongside Joy Jegede, Osarenoma Igbinovia and 18 other players were selected by head coach, Thomas Dennerby to represent Nigeria at the inaugural edition of WAFU Cup in Côte d’Ivoire. In the second group game of the regional tournament, Ajibade scored a hat-trick to take Nigeria to the semi-finals with a game left.
Ajibade was part of the 2018 African Nations Championship Nigeria women’s national football team where she won the tournament alongside the team. She captained the Super Falcons for the first time in a 1-0 friendly victory over Slovenian club, Olimpija Lubijana in Vienna, Austria.
She also made the squad for the 2022 AWCON in Morocco where she scored against South Africa in a 2-1 defeat to the Super Falcons, she also scored in a 4-0 win against Burundi.
Husband/ Boyfriend and Personal Life
Rasheedat Ajibade is currently single and not in any relationship for now.
Rasheedat Ajibade is also not married.
In the summer of 2020, Rasheedat Ajibade launched the #StandOutWithRASH campaign, in partnership with leading Nigerian athlete branding company, EaglesTracker. It was a campaign aimed at promoting grassroots football talents within Nigeria. Rasheedat Ajibade used her social media platform to provide visibility, as well as football boots, jerseys and cash prizes to aspiring footballers who could show how they stand out on the football field.
She also launched her official brand, RASH, which features a unique merchandise collection available for purchase to fans online.
Rasheedat Ajibade’s net worth as of 2022 is estimated at around $500, 000 – $2 million.
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