Super Falcons midfielder, Ngozi Okobi who is regarded as one of the creative minds in the team had a chat with ACLSports at the ongoing Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) where spoke about her style of football and her experience in the team so far.
Starting from the bench against South Africa and coming into the game against Zambia and Equatorial Guinea we saw her pull the strings in midfield connecting the midfield to attack effortlessly and gracefully. There is no gainsaying that her ability with the ball is a sight to behold.
Speaking of her abilities and inspiration, the Sweden based midfielder said: “I watch Ronaldo (Cristiano) play football and I get inspired because he’s a good footballer.
“Though he’s a man and I’m a woman, I love his style of play and I’ll want to be like him. I just want to enjoy football,” Okobi said.
She however added that playing football was a decision she had to make on her own, standing her ground against her father’s wish to be a professional footballer.
“No one encouraged me, I grew up playing football. So playing football today is to make myself proud because I made my dad understand that I want to pursue my football career.”
Having played in different FIFA age grade competitions and being a main stay in the national team ever since then Okobi describes her understanding and relationship with the three forwards – Asisat Oshoala, Desire Oparanozie and Francisca Ordega.
Starting with Ordega she said: “we’ve played together like all my time in the national team except in 2008 when she didn’t make the team to New Zealand.
“We started playing together in Trinidad and Tobago and we’ve had a good understanding ever since then.
On the reigning female African footballer of the year she said: “Asisat came into the national team in 2012, she was a was a midfielder then. We try to combine together, I understand her style of play and everything.
“Desire also, we’ve been together all the way and its been all through my national team career,” Okobi added.
With majority of the girls playing together for about 4-6 years or even more, and chasing a third straight Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) trophy how do you stay motivated to keep winning despite the Super Falcons dominance on the continent?
“Every player in this team loves football and no one wants to be disappointed and that is one key that keeps each and everyone one of us going.
“For instance, I am not a loser and I do not want to lose. Even in my club side during training sessions I do not want to end up on the losing side because I get frustrated and pissed off when I lose,” Okobi said.
Finally to Nigerians and her fans worldwide she said: “Keep watching our games and cheering us. Never get disappointed in the Super Falcons because we will make you proud. We are the giant of Africa and as long as I’m still with the team you will never be disappointed.”