Gaelle Enganamouit Retires From Football
The Lioness of Cameroon and former African Women’s Footballer of the Year, Gaelle Deborah Enganamouit has announced her retirement from football. She made the announcement yesterday (June 6th, 2020) to mark her 28th birthday.
Fastest goal in the world
Gaelle Enganamouit moved to Europe in 2012 and signed for Sparta Subotica in Serbia. She scored what is believed to be the fastest goal in women’s football while playing for Sparta in the Serbian League. The goal was scored at the 3 second mark. She also played for Sparta in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
Gaelle Enganamouit scores the fastest goal in women’s football during a league game in 2013.
She also played an important role in the Cameroonian team that got to the final of the 2014 African Women’s Championship, scoring 2 goals against Algeria in the group stage and a goal against Ivory Coast in the semi-final and becoming the joint 3rd highest goal scorer in the competition. She made my heart stop in the final with this amazing volley that hit the cross bar in the game against Nigeria.
Enganamouit’s volley against Nigeria at the 1:04 minute mark.
Highest goal scorer and hat-trick hero
She moved to Ekisltunna in Sweden in 2015 and became the highest goal scorer in the Swedish League with 18 goals. She also led Cameroon to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, where she became the first African woman to score a hat-trick. She achieved the feat as Cameroon defeated Ecuador in their first game of the championship. Canadian fans nicknamed her “The Freight Train” because of her powerful surging runs. Cameroon got to the second round before they were knocked out by China.
Cameroon 6-0 Ecuador
African Footballer of the Year
Gaelle Enganamouit was rewarded for her exploits with the 2015 African Women’s Footballer of the Year award.
African Footballer of the Year 2015 (male and female), Aubameyang and Enganamouit
She moved to Swedish giants Rosenborg in November 2015 and she was nominated for the BBC Women’s footballer of the year award in early 2016, alongside Amandine Henry, Kim Little, Carli Lloyd and Becky Sauerbrunn.
Unfortunately she suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury on the opening day of the 2016 season and it ruled her out for the rest of the season.
However, Cameroon were due to host the 2016 African Women’s Nations Cup and they were desperate to ensure that their star striker played in the competition. Enganamouit took part in the competition, but she didn’t score a single goal. Her main role was as a decoy for deadly winger Gabrielle Aboudi Ongunene (Onguene was named the player of the tournament). Cameroon got to the final and lost to Nigeria again.
Gaelle Enganamouit and President Paul Biya at the state reception for the Lionesses after the 2016 African Women’s Nations Cup.
In February 2017 it was announced that Gaelle Enganamouit had been signed by Chinese club Dalian. The announcement came a few days after Dalian signed Nigerian star Asisat Oshoala. That meant that the 2 players that had won the most recent African Footballer of the Year title were going to play in the same club.
Oshoala and Enganamouit became best friends at Dalian.
Asisat Oshoala imitates Enganamouit’s famous lioness pose.
However, Enganamouit and Oshoala had contrasting fortunes in China. Oshoala was the highest goal scorer in the Chinese League in the 2017 season and the second highest goal scorer in the 2018 season, while Enganamouit did not score a single goal. She spent more time on the doctor’s table than on the pitch. Some people believe that the Cameroonians rushed her back to full action too early and that she had not fully recovered from the injury that kept her out of the 2016 season. She left Dalian in 2018 and signed for Avaldsnes in Norway.
(from left to right) Deadly Cameroonian winger Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene, Onome Ebi of Nigeria, Galle Enganamouit (2015 African player of the year) and Asisat Oshoala (2014, 2016 and 2017 African player of the year) in Accra for the 2017 African Footballer of the Year Award ceremony.
More goals and penalty miss
Enganamouit scored 4 goals for Avaldsnes and I thought that she had found her scoring form again. She also scored in Cameroon’s 3-0 defeat of Algeria in the group stage of the 2018 Nations Cup. However, she missed her penalty kick in the semi-final against Nigeria and furious Cameroonian fans vandalised her house in Yaounde.
Enganamouit continued to have injury problems and she left Avaldsnes in 2019, ahead of the FIFA World Cup. She signed with Malaga in Spain, but she was let go soon after because she had injury problems.
She became a very controversial figure in Cameroon ahead of the 2019 Women’s World Cup. Many Cameroonian fans did not want her to be in the squad for the World Cup, but the coach stated that she had a good chance of making the team, if she performed well at the training camp.
She was the last player to make it to camp, but she was eventually included in Cameroon’s team to the World Cup. Many Cameroonian fans were furious. They said that she was injury prone and that she didn’t have any club and so she should not be in the team to the World Cup. Some even claimed that she must have paid the coach to include her in the team, while others stated that she was included because of her past performance, rather than her current form and that her inclusion was bad for young Cameroonian female footballers who would have performed better than her.
She only played a few minutes in the first game against Cameroon (she came on as a substitute).
She has continued to have injury problems and difficulties with getting a club and has now retired from football at the age of 28.