Nadia Nadim is a Danish and international football star. She was born in 1988 in Afghanistan. Her father was a military general and her mother a school principal. One day in 2000, her father never returned home from a meeting with the Talibans. From that moment on, Nadim and her mother and sisters lived in survival mode. They fled from their home country and ended up in refugee camp in Denmark. They’ve been there for 9 months, and that was the time when Nadia learned to play football. Their family were granted refugee status in Denmark once their time at the asylum came to an end. She became Danish citizen in 2008 and in 2009 played for the first time for Danish international team.
For her country, she has now exceeded a momentous 100 appearances and she has made a significant impact across multiple clubs in America and Europe. One of Nadim’s most notable periods at a club came when she spent two years with Paris Saint-Germain. In 2021, she helped the Parisian side to their first-ever league title, beating off the ever-dominant Lyon.
Even for all her success on the field, Nadim doesn’t see it as a job – but rather as her passion. She once said: “For me, I wanted more than that. I wanted to do something where I could have an impact on people’s lives.” Where many football players cannot imagine life beyond football, for Nadim there has always been a plan. And that was to help others, just as others have helped her and her family. Her desire to give back has been channeled into medical school. Nadim has been training to become a reconstructive surgeon for years alongside playing football professionally. In early 2022, the dream that she had been working towards for all these years came true as she qualified to become a doctor. In recent years, Nadim’s injury issues took her from a football field a lot, but she is persistent to recover and get back as soon as possible.
Nadim is a Muslim, and speaks eleven languages (Danish, English, Spanish, French, German, Persian, Dari, Urdu, Hindi, Arabic and Latin). It is clear to see that Nadim’s story will inspire a lot of people whether they want to play football, become doctors or simply chase their dreams.
She’s now an ambassador for UNESCO’s girl’s and women’s education and believes that sport can play a crucial part in the right to schooling for women worldwide.