Ex-Man City star Nadia Nadim’s inspiring journey from fleeing Afghanistan as a kid to qualifying as a doctor

NADIA NADIM has achieved some remarkable feats during a life in which she was forced to flee Afghanistan after the Taliban executed her father.

And now the football heroine – who rose to the top of the game after arriving in Denmark as a refugee – has achieved her dream of becoming a doctor.

Nadia Nadim became a qualified doctor this month after five years of studying medicine whilst playing football

Nadim who plays for US women’s side Racing Louisville has spent the last five years juggling her job as a striker with her medical studies.

And the former Manchester City ace, who speaks nine languages, took to social media to celebrate her efforts.

Qualifying to become a doctor is an incredible milestone for a forward who discovered her passion for football whilst living in a refugee camp in Denmark.

Escaping conflict in Afghanistan

Nadim, who turned 34 this month, was born in Herat, Afghanistan’s third-largest city located west of its capital Kabul.

In 2000, her father Rabani, who was an Afghan Army general, was taken into the desert by Taliban forces.

Nadim, who was 11 at the time, never saw her father again with the Taliban taking control of the country by brute force.

Later the Denmark ace and her family learned that he had been killed.  

Nadim’s father Rabani was executed by the Taliban when she was 11

It was then that Nadim’s mother Hamida decided to flee Afghanistan with the striker and her four sisters.

In a Sky Sports interview last September, Nadim said: “Before the war, I have very fond memories of the country, of our life, the safe environment.

“I had my mum and dad. And then I have the second part, which is the war, and after my dad was killed.

“Those memories are not nice memories, a lot of chaos, a lot of just horror.

“At the end, things were made very hard for us as a family to function and to see a future or feel safe.”

Arriving as a refugee in Denmark

Nadim’s family were forced to sell nearly all their belongings to fund their escape, including their home.

And they managed to reach Pakistan with forged passports before an arduous journey by truck to Italy and then to London before reaching Denmark.

Upon their arrival, they were taken to a refugee camp in the countryside.

It was there the Racing Louisville star spotted a group of girls playing football, a moment that sparked her interest in the game which transformed her life.

Nadim and her family managed to get to Denmark after fleeing war in Afghanistan

Last year Nadim told SportBible: “We used to just stand outside the fences and watch the girls play football. I remember it so vividly.

“When I saw that, I really wanted to be on that field.

“This is what I wanted to do. I felt like everything was happening in slow motion.”

Nadim would later go on to ask a coach training youngsters in the camp if she could join in.

And after a few months of training with the other girls, the forward was given a chance to play in an organised match.

The NWSL ace added: “Suddenly I was doing the warm-up and training drills. I didn’t know what was happening, but it was amazing.

“I got to wear the jerseys and I was just like, this is freaking amazing.”

Nadim, 34, spent a season playing for Manchester City in the WSL

Rise to the top of women’s game

After her family were given asylum in Denmark, Nadim set her heart on becoming a pro, joining B52 Aalborg in 2005.  

Later that year the striker moved to Team Viborg before a ten-year spell playing for two other Danish clubs.

A 2014 switch to Sky Blues FC in the United States was preceded by Nadim making history by becoming the first naturalised Danish footballer to play for Denmark.

The forward made her international debut for the country in 2009 going on to score 38 goals in 99 games.

After a season with Sky Blues, Nadim joined Fortuna Hjorring on loan in 2015 before a Portland Thorns move a year later.

And she became the club’s top scorer helping them win the NWSL Shield in 2016.

Nadim’s form in front of goal saw her seal a 2018 switch to the Women’s Super League and Manchester City.

The striker departed for Paris-Saint Germain in 2019 where she became vice-captain before her transfer to Racing Louisville in June last year.

Nadim has made 99 appearances for Denmark since making her international debut in 2009

Battling for women’s rights

Off the pitch, Nadim has emerged as a vocal supporter of women’s and girls’ rights in Afghanistan.

She helped to raise £29,000 for UN Women and local organisations.

Last year the striker spoke of her fears for the prospects for women in the country and the future of female athletes there.

Hundreds are thought to have left following the Taliban’s restrictions and curbs on their freedoms.

Nadim has spoken out on the perils facing women and girls living under Taliban restrictions

Nadim told Sky Sports: “What I’ve been doing is trying to create awareness of the situation.

“And also try to fundraise some money with United Nations, Racing Louisville – my club – and then the Women’s Cup that was held here in Louisville.

“I love that people here are trying to help and the money is going to go to people who need it, especially women.”


By: Sandra Brobbey
Title: Ex-Man City star Nadia Nadim’s inspiring journey from fleeing Afghanistan as a kid to qualifying as a doctor
Sourced From: www.thesun.co.uk/sport/17351411/manchester-city-nadia-nadim-doctor/
Published Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2022 16:09:20 +0000

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