Super Falcons captain Desire Oparanozie has reiterated the fact that Nigeria will not be a pushover in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
Nigeria will battle Norway in their opening match of this year’s campaign, who they had met in the past with the match ending in a damning 8-0 loss for the Super Falcons. Oparanozie has downplayed the previous meeting stating it was a different time.
“Yes we have met them before but that was 24 years ago and in the past! Football has greatly evolved from what it was back then. So we have moved on from the past and we are living in the present. Women football is also on the rise and I can say we have improved too, given the preparation we have experienced.”
The Guingamp forward also talked about her optimism for the nine-time African champions in the tournament due the quality of players in the squad, given that they are grouped alongside tough opposition.
“It’s true we’ve struggled in the past to make an impact on the world stage, I mean, that’s very true you can’t take that away from history. But then, I’m very much optimistic, we no longer live in the past this is today, we live in the now and with the quality we have in this team and how well we’ve prepared for this very World Cup I am very much optimistic that in this World Cup we’ll have something good to offer and exceed our previous record.”
The 25-year-old will be making her third appearance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup stage, with previous features in 2011 and 2015.
Nigeria, who are grouped alongside hosts France, South Korea, and Norway, are looking to do better than their world cup quarterfinals finish in 1999.