Rasheedat Ajibade, 22, who had represented Nigeria at the U-17, and U-20 before becoming a main part of the national team said female football needs attention and investment.
The Atletico Madrid Femenino attacker said in an interview with Elegbete TV that there are no permanent champions and if you don’t improve you risk being caught up.
“Yeah. There are a lot of talks that Nigeria is being caught up by other nations. Of course, as they say, change is constant in life. There is no permanent champion in life.
“I do agree because all of these countries are investing in sports, and in women’s football. Players are also improving individually because everybody understands that football has given them a great platform to become whatever they want to become. Everybody wants to be celebrated.
“People have improved, nations have improved and one way or the other caught up. Because I think the most important thing for every human that really wants to maintain its success is all about yeah, if you know, I will make an example of a teacher who is teaching a student.
“If you are teaching a student, you have to dig extra miles because you’re impacting knowledge on those people. As long as you keep impacting those children, of course, they themselves always, if you’re not careful, they will catch up with you. So the only thing you can do is if you show that one step, you have to go ten steps ahead.
The 2022 WAFCON top scorer who recently bagged a diploma in Coaching Psychology and Sports Management from the El-Roi University in London, offered ways into maintaining the dominance Nigeria once had.
“Again, you have to go ten steps ahead, you have to do something that they are not doing. You have to invest in yourself. The more you have to read books that even if you thought they could lay their hands on it, you have to do what they are not doing.
“So, if we really want to maintain our dominance, then we have to hugely invest in our sports, and in female football.
“We have to give it the time it needs to grow and to develop. Because a lot of countries have really woken up. They know we are a threat, and everybody wants to beat Nigeria. It’s not easy to have been there nine times.
“Because we dominated for a long time, we felt it’s our birthright. But it’s good that things like this happen, so we can all wake up. It’s not a time to give up or to feel bad. It’s only time to get better.
“I think it’s a wake-up call for all of us, and for the nation, if we want to get a different result, then we have to change what you’re doing. To get a different result you have to change your pattern.
“You have to change your structure. We just have to do more to become more.”
Rasheedat Ajibade was Nigeria’s star player at WAFCON 2022 where the Super Falcons’ chase of La Decima ended without any medal.