Nigeria’s women national team, Super Falcons have been warned to watch out for something ‘special’ when they confront Norway at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
The Falcons will battle the 1995 champions on June 8 at Stade Auguste-Delaune II in Reims, France, for their first match of Group A, and the warning from the Scandinavian country is that they will show the nine-time African champions how to kick leather.
This verdict is coming from Norway’s captain, Maren Mjelde, who declared that they want to replicate heroics of the team that conquered the world in Sweden 24 years ago.
Mjelde said she and her teammates want to measure up to the lofty standard set by Riise, Aarones and the class of ’95, who were the last team to lift the old version of the Female Mundial, before a new design was introduced for USA 1999, where the Falcons got their only quarter-final spot till date.
On the other hand, among the Women’s World Cup artifacts at the FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich is Riise’s jersey from Norway’s glorious era, a gold medal for the winners from 1995 and the first incarnation of the trophy.
Norway will be back on the global stage at France 2019, and Mjelde has spoken about the challenge of living up to those heroines of ’95, but believes they can get on the right track by beating Nigeria in their opening match.
Mjelde told FIFA.com: “The fact that we won the World Cup is a source of a lot of pride for all of us. We have great traditions and we want to live up to those.
“It’s harder than ever to do that because teams who were nowhere back in the 90s are really major forces now.
“We’re feeling really positive about ourselves though, and the feeling is ‘Why can’t we do something special?’”