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No USA, No Germany: Nigeria Legend Ayisat Yusuf Predicts Paris 2024 Olympic Women's Champions

African Women legend Ayisat Yusuf has tipped either Spain or France to win the gold medal in the 2024 Olympic women’s football competition, overlooking former winners USA and Germany. Yusuf, who represented Nigeria for 14 years, believes Spain or France will emerge as champions on August 10 at Parc des Princes in Paris.

Shina Oludare
Shina Oludare

Last Updated: 2024-07-05

Louis Hobbs

8 minutes read

Ayisat Yusuf

African Women legend Ayisat Yusuf has tipped either Spain or France to win the gold medal of the 2024 Olympic women’s football competition, overlooking former winners United States of America and Germany.

Twelve teams assemble in Paris for the sporting spectacle, with current World Cup champions Spain and reigning Olympic champions Canada leading the charge for the gold medal.

With kick-off just weeks away, Yusuf, who represented Nigeria for 14 years and also participated in the tournament, believes either La Roja or The Blues will emerge as champions in the final on August 10 at Parc des Princes in Paris.

To her, both teams would rely on their current form, disregarding the prospects of The Stars and Stripes, who have won the FIFA Women’s World Cup four times.

Finnish-Nigerian Ayisat Yusuf-Aromire to attend FURD Female Football

Image Credits: Monaliiku 

“Football today is unpredictable because every country is putting in tremendous effort. With the game becoming more entertaining and competitive, it is difficult to accurately predict the winner,” Yusuf told SportsBoom.com.

“I understand that different countries are giving their best effort. Competing in the Olympics is the pinnacle for athletes, and everyone aims to participate not just for the experience but to win medals, especially the gold.”

“Honestly, if I have to choose, I would tip Spain’s women’s national team. They are working incredibly hard.”

However, I’m not saying it’s impossible for Nigeria to go for the gold medal. Anything is possible with effort, commitment, and determination.”

“However, I don't see the United States competing for the gold medal, before the table has turned against the. I would put my money on Spain or France, but we shouldn't rule Nigeria out either.”

Nigeria Can Survive Group of Death

Nigeria defeated arch-rivals South Africa to make a comeback to the Olympic Games after being absent for 16 years. They will represent Africa alongside Zambia.

In their pursuit of gold, the Super Falcons must navigate through a formidable 'Group of Death,' facing reigning world champions Spain, former World Cup winners Japan, and two-time Olympic silver medallists Brazil.

Regardless, the veteran coach, who holds a UEFA B License, remains optimistic about Randy Waldrum’s team. She insists that they can defy the odds and achieve success.

She added: “The group is challenging. In the last Women’s World Cup, they faced a similarly tough group, and to the surprise of many, they captivated the world from their very first game until their eventual exit.

“Respectfully speaking, Brazil is a formidable team and one of the largest football-playing nations, and Japan is similarly strong. They are known for their fast-paced style of play, boasting considerable strength and energy.”

“As for the Spanish national team, their performance at the last Women’s World Cup is well-documented.”

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We must be realistic with ourselves. Football is unpredictable, and there are no pushovers.

Ayisat Yusuf

Ajibade the Player to Watch Out For

The Atletico Madrid star, who captains the Nigerian women's team, is predicted to be the standout performer at the Paris Olympics.

Since making her senior debut in 2018, 24-year-old Ajibade has been a driving force for the squad.

“In this regard, Rasheedat Ajibade has been working exceptionally hard and has been impressive so far,” added the Nigerian-Finn.

“She appears very focused and committed and has proven to be a strong leader. She is definitely someone to watch out for in Paris.”

“Ajibade is a selfless player who supports all her teammates. Watch out for her, and by God's grace, I believe she will perform exceptionally well, just as she has always done for Nigeria and her club.”

“She was recently named Atletico Madrid’s Player of the Season, a testament to her hard work and selflessness. Though I am not very close to her, I am truly impressed with what she has accomplished so far, and I am very proud of her.”

Strategies for Nigeria’s Success in Paris

The football legend added: “The Nigerian ladies should adopt the same mindset they had at the Women’s World Cup: avoid distractions, stay focused, emphasize teamwork, nurture good team spirit, and maintain unity.

“Additionally, they require substantial support from the technical staff, Nigerians, and most importantly, unity among the players with a positive mindset. This cohesion can propel them to qualify from the group.”

“Ultimately, success hinges on both the players and the tactical approach and formation devised by the technical crew.”

“The NFF should offer strong support to the team and allow the players to focus on their performance. I wish them all the best and assure them of my unwavering support.”

Nigeria kicks off their campaign against Brazil on July 25th at Stade de Bordeaux. Three days later, they face Spain in Nantes, followed by their final group match against Japan on July 31st.

Shina Oludare
Shina OludareSports Writer

Shina Oludare is a notable Nigerian sports journalist and writer recognized for his extensive coverage of African sports. He has made significant contributions to the field through his work with reputable media outlets such as Goal.com and Soccernet. Known for his insightful analysis and comprehensive reporting, Oludare covers a wide range of topics within African football, including domestic leagues, national teams, and emerging talents. His work includes detailed player profiles, match previews and reviews, and transfer news, providing valuable insights into the intricacies of the sport on the continent.