Meet Nadia Nadim, Who Fled The Taliban And Is Now A Soccer Superstar

Fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan, Nadia Nadim never imagined she would one day play for the top U.S. women’s soccer league.

She registered seven goals and three assists in just six matches for the top U.S. women’s soccer league in 2014. She is also studying to become a doctor and speaks not three, not four, but five different languages.

She is Nadia Nadim – the Afghanistan–born Danish footballer who plays as a striker for Sky Blue F.C.

Nadim was just 12 years old when she left Kabul after her father, a military general, was executed by the Taliban.

“My dad’s friends told him to leave the country, and said to him, ‘Even though you didn’t do anything wrong, they don’t see you like that.’ But he loved his country so much, so we stayed,” she told Our Game Magazine’s Tiffany Weimer. “The Taliban was afraid that my dad had too much influence as a general. They were afraid of influential people in the country. And then influential people started to disappear.”

Along with her mother and sisters, Nadim fled to Denmark, where the family first lived in a refugee center in Copenhagen and later in another asylum near Aalborg called Visse which was right next to a football club GUG Boldklub.

It was in Visse where Nadim discovered her passion for soccer.

“I got really passionate about it when we lived in this refugee camp in Denmark,” she stated in a recent New York Times interview. “There was this soccer club beside us. We had Danish lessons from 9 to 1, and then all this time off.”

After being granted refugee status in Denmark, the Nadim sisters and their mother moved to a house in Rebild.

Nadim continued playing soccer and was soon chosen for the U-15 regional team in Denmark. Soon, she became the first foreign player to play for the Danish National Team (both men and women).

Nadim joined Sky Blue FC, the top women’s soccer league in the United States near the end of the 2014 season. Her impressive performance, including seven goals and three assists in just six matches, got her a contract with the club in this year’s season.

“Signing Nadia was our top objective coming out of last season,” Sky Blue FC technical director and head coach Jim Gabarra stated in February. “We had some great momentum when she arrived last year, and we want to continue that momentum into this season. This is huge for both Sky Blue FC and the league itself in signing a player of Nadia’s caliber, and we are very much looking forward to having her for the entire season.”

Here’s a video of Nadim’s at trick for Sky Blue FC against Houston Dash on August 9, 2014:

Nadia Nadim hat trick for Sky Blue FC against Houston Dash on August 9, 2014.

Posted by Nadia Nadim on Sunday, August 10, 2014

As if her achievements in soccer were not impressive enough, it’s even more fascinating to know that Nadim is also studying to become a doctor at Aarhus University in Denmark.

Although it gets a little tough, balancing studies and soccer at the same time, especially around end-of-year exams, Nadim says she has been managing it.

"The only stuff I do is I wake up, train, study, train, study, sleep," she told ESPN in an interview last August. "It's just like repeat for two months. I have no life besides it. But I just want both really much. I want it to work. It's been working. It hasn't been easy, but if you want to, you can achieve everything. It's just the power of will."

For more information on Nadim, watch this YouTube video uploaded by Sky Blue FC:

Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Nigel Roddis

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