When the 2023/2024 UEFA Women’s Champions League group stage begins next month, five Super Falcons will be on display.
The competition’s group stage is scheduled to run from November 14, 2023 until January 13, 2024. However, in contrast to past seasons, there are more Nigerians among the clubs that use this name.
🏆 The Class of 2023/24 🏆
🥁 Introducing the 16 #UWCL group stage contenders
— UEFA Women’s Champions League (@UWCL) October 18, 2023
But who are these Nigerians expected to fly the country flag and wear their club’s colours when the stage is set?
Chiamaka’s Safe Pair Of Hands
+ 3 , CLEAN SHEET. IMPORTANT WIN AT HOME 💙🤍 pic.twitter.com/UMlry38liZ
— Nnadozie chiamaka (@Nadoziechiamaka) October 14, 2023
Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie made waves earlier this week when she saved a penalty when her club Paris FC advanced to the competition’s group stage by defeating Wolfsburg.
The French defeated them 0-2 away from home, securing their place in the group stage for the first time in about ten years.
In the rematch, Wolfsburg held Paris FC to a 3-3 draw at the Stade Charléty. Nnadozie, on the other hand, was to play a key role in the return leg victory when she saved from 12 yards to prevent the Germans an equalizer. Louise Fleury then increased the visiting team’s lead, sending them to the next round.
Previously, the Super Falcon was on display as Paris FC defeated Arsenal in a qualifying match. In that game, she saved two penalties in a 4-2 shootout victory over North London.
Paris FC are in Group D with Chelsea, Real Madrid, and BK Hacken.
Away from Nnadozie, another Nigerian with Champions League experience will be on display. Asisat Oshoala, a two-time winner of the competition and the first African to do so, is poised to compete for a third European crown.
Although she did not play in FC Barcelona Femini’s title-winning victory over Wolfsburg last season, the 28-year-old is expected to play a key role for the Spanish club this season.
The defending champions compete in Group A alongside Benfica, Eintracht Frankfurt, and Rosengard.
Ucheibe’s Moment Of Glory
— Ucheibe Christy (@UcheibeC) October 19, 2023
Oshoala will face compatriot Christy Ucheibe in the same lot as he attempts to make it a third time lucky for Barcelona.
Ucheibe, a Benfica player, played with the Ballon d’Or nominee as the Super Falcons advanced to the round of 16 at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia/New Zealand.
The Benfica midfielder was on fire, netting her first Champions League goal in the 4-0 defeat of Apollo at the Benfica Campus in the second leg. Her team qualified after winning the aggregate score 11-0.
Rosengard Back With Ayinde
To add to the intrigue, another Super Falcons player, Halimatu Ayinde, will wear Rosengard’s jersey.
Ayinde’s club advanced to the group stage after defeating Spartak Subotica of Serbia on aggregate 7-2.
Payne To Pick Up?
Many Nigerians will be keeping a careful eye on Group C, which features their compatriot Nicole Payne’s team Paris-Saint Germain (PSG) competing against Bayern Munich, AS Roma, and Ajax.
Despite being named to the squad that overcame Manchester United in the second round of qualifying, Payne has yet to make an impact in the PSG lineup.
The Nigerian joined the French giants this summer and will be hoping to compete in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.