CARY, N.C. (WNCN) — Superstars are few and far between. It’s a know-it-when-you-see-it kind of thing.
One way to tell is when you reach a solo name status—like that of Elvis, Cher or Shakira. The North Carolina Courage have one on their roster. Her full name is Débora Cristiane de Oliveira but most know her simply as Debinha.
She’s without a doubt an artist on the pitch. She stands at just 5’2 but towers above the fray with her incredible skills. Case and point: she has been named the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup Most Valuable Player.
The honor marks the second straight tournament MVP nod for the midfielder, who set the record for goals in consecutive Cup matches this year with tallies in five straight games.
Debinha kicked off her scoring tear with the game-opening goal in a 2-2 draw between the Courage and the Washington Spirit on March 30. She hit the back of the net the following weekend against NJ/NY Gotham FC.
She added an insurance goal on April 16 to secure a 4-2 win over the Orlando Pride which stretched her scoring streak to three games, before nailing a game-tying goal in another 2-2 draw with the Spirit on April 23.
Debinha finished off her five-game scoring run with the opening tally in a 2-1 semifinal victory over the Kansas City Current on May 4. She went on to add an assist in the tournament final against the Spirit last Saturday, helping the Courage to their first Challenge Cup crown.
You don’t often get the chance to see someone in their prime do what they do best and know what you are looking at. It’s always when you look back you say that was an incredible performance you got to see.
I’m telling you now—get to a Courage game. Find #10. Don’t take your eyes off her.
You won’t be disappointed and you will be telling people about watching one of the greatest soccer players there ever was for years to come.