Nigeria U-23s striker Sadiq Umar is over the moon after helping the team win bronze in the men’s football event of Rio 2016.
The Olympic Eagles defeated Honduras 3-2 in the bronze medal match on Saturday to win Nigeria’s first, and potentially only, medal of Rio 2016, which ends on Sunday.
“This bronze medal means a lot to us,” Sadiq, who scored a brace in Belo Horizonte in the bronze medal contest, told FIFA.com.
“It’s like winning a World Cup! I really think it was a brilliant performance. And most importantly, we deserved to win.
“We worked so hard to get results in this tournament. We had some great matches, and showed great team spirit and teamwork. Of course we would have preferred a gold medal, but the bronze is worth just as much to me.”
Roma striker Sadiq, who scored four goals in the Olympics, noted that the Atlanta ’96 gold medal inspired his team in Brazil.
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“When you look back, the greatest-ever Nigerian success was achieved at an Olympic Football Tournament,” Umar added.
“I wasn’t actually born, but since I was young I’ve heard people talking about Atlanta 1996 this and Atlanta 1996 that. That was simply the biggest moment in Nigerian football history.
“Of course, they won gold and we won bronze. They wrote a whole new page in our history. But I’d like to think that with this victory, we’ve at least added a few new lines to that story.”