Super Falcons goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie is desperate to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games as Nigeria gears up for their crucial final qualifiers game against their familiar foes, South Africa, reports.

Both sides have forged an intense rivalry over the years and are seen as the toast of Africa following successes on the continent, but it’s been the South Africans who have won recent battles.

Banyana beat Nigeria in their last two meetings, the 2022 Women’s Afcon in Morocco and 2021 Aisha Buhari Cup in their own backyard, tournaments that Banyana went on to win.

For Nnadozie, qualifying for the Olympic Games in France are of very particular importance.

“I read so many things about the Olympics. We didn’t manage to qualify in 2020, I felt bad at first, then I said to myself ‘Come on, you have time ahead of you’ and that’s it, another great opportunity to qualify,” she said.

“I want to know what it feels like to participate in the Olympic Games.”

Since 2020, the Nigerian goalkeeper has lived in the City of Lights for four years, where she plays for topflight club Paris FC. Having fallen in love with this city, Nnadozie wants to participate in the Olympic Games which will take place in her second home.

France holds further importance to Nnadozie asides being the home of her club side as it was in France that the shot-stopper burst onto the international scene on June 17, 2019. It was on that day, that the Super Falcons travelled to Rennes, in the west of France where she made her debut thanks to coach Thomas Dennerby.

The Olu native held her own against the Bleues before the unfortunate 79th minute penalty she conceded. The Nigerians lost by the narrowest of margins, however Nnadozie laid the perfect foundation for a stellar career and has since built a reputation as a penalty saver.

Nnadozie arrived in Paris in February 2020 and hardly had time to settle in as she hit the ground running and was nominated twice in the category of best goalkeeper of the UNFP (prize rewarding players playing in the French championship).

“She is one of the best goalkeepers of her generation” said Sandrine Soubeyrand, her coach at Paris FC.

Few years later, Nigerian goalkeeper was awarded the Best Women’s Goalkeeper in Africa at the CAF Awards in 2023.

Buoyed by this award and her performance at the last FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023, where she led Nigeria to the round of 16 with the captain’s armband, Nnadozie is eager to lead her side to the Olympics.

To do this, Nnadozie and Nigeria will have to overcome reigning African champions South Africa over a two-legged fixture on April 5 and 9.

Nigeria’s last Olympics participation dates back to 2008 where the Super Falcons shot stopper was Toby Oluechi.

“I like how she (Oluechi) talks to us about it, the advice she gives us and how much she insists telling us that it is important to qualify for the Games. It’s a great tournament, according to her. Through all her stories, I want to qualify even more.” Nnadozie added.