Nadia Nadim

Nadia Nadim

Nadia Nadim is an International Soccer player from Denmark, who currently plays professionally for the Portland Thorn in the U.S. National Women’s Soccer League. Her life story can serve as an inspiration to young girls around the world with a big dream…

Nadia was born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan, where she was taught how to play soccer by her father behind the walls of the garden at the family’s house. At a time when girls were forbidden from school, the idea of Nadim playing soccer beyond the walls was inconceivable. And outside of the walls, the reality was worsening as the Taliban gained control of Kabul. Tragically her father, an Afghan National Army General was executed by the Taliban. Nadim’s mother and the children fled Afghanistan first to Pakistan and eventually more than 5,000 kilometers away to Denmark where they would rebuild their lives.

In Denmark, soccer opened doors for Nadia. Instead of having to hide behind walls, she played out in the open and was spotted by a coach at a soccer club who invited her to play on their team. From there, her career took off. In 2008 the country's soccer governing body received approval from FIFA to waive a rule requiring a five-year residency period for a player to gain eligibility for a new country upon turning 18 (when she officially gained Danish citizenship). This allowed Nadia to play for Denmark’s National Team. Her play in Denmark, eventually lead to her contract with New Jersey’s women’s professional club Sky Blue FC.

Perhaps it's no surprise based on all that she experienced as a child, that in additional to her soccer career, she is now pursuing a second career where she will be someone who can help ‘fix’ some of the ills. A student at Aarhus University, Nadia is pursuing a medical degree in Denmark and planning to become a doctor.

Her life story defines Nadia and her way of thinking. She recognizes that she is one of the fortunate ones. She is an inspiration to all of us. Never letting the ‘walls’ in your life hold you back or define who you can be.
HOMESportSoccerNadia Nadim

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