By James Agberebi: Super Falcons and Atletico Madrid’s women team forward, Francisca Ordega, says it is time for the Nigerian senior women football national team to make progress beyond being the dominant team in Africa, and start doing well at the world stage, Completesportsnigeria.com report’s.
The Super Falcons have dominated African women football since its inception, winning seven of the nine Africa Women’s Cup of Nations which started in 1998 with Nigeria as hosts.
But the team has also struggled to replicate the same dominant form when they face teams outside Africa.
Since making the quarter-finals at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup in the USA, the Falcons have crashed out in the group stage of their last four outings (2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015).
In the latest FIFA women’s world ranking released on Friday, the Falcons dropped from 35th to 37th position.
Ordega who won the women’s AFCON in 2010, 2014 and 2016, and represented Nigeria at the 2011 and 2015 women’s senior World Cups, stated that other African teams are catching up with Nigeria.
“It’s a good feeling when you know what you are doing is right,” Ordega who joined Atletico Madrid’s women’s team on loan from American side, Washington Spirits in October 2017, said in a two-minute video on the LaLiga’s verified Twitter handle.
“I feel good when people see us as the best team in Africa, but that is not enough. We really want to be recognized in the world, not just in Africa.
“I can’t say anything about the future, but now most teams in Africa are coming hard for us. They are not sitting and allowing Nigeria to be the best in Africa. They really want to come out and show their talents, their football is developing.
“So we can’t relax because we are the best in Africa. We have to step up to the world. During the international break (for women national teams), I couldn’t go because we had no games. I think if we get more games, it’s going to help us, especially we the players. It’s going to help us in the world and not just in Africa.”
Ordega added: “Next year, we have a lot of qualifiers like the World Cup (2019) qualifiers. So, other countries are coming hard for us,. So we can’t just relax because we are the best. We really have to show that we are the best in the world and not only in Africa.”