2024 Europa League Final: Nigerian Stars in the Spotlight

2024 Europa League Final: Nigerian Stars in the Spotlight

by Sopuru Sopuru

The 2024 Europa League final will be a Nigerian affair as Ademola Lookman (Atalanta) battles Victor Boniface and Nathan Tella (Bayer Leverkusen) for glory.

The German champions take on Atalanta in the Europa League final in Dublin on Wednesday before facing second-tier Kaiserslautern in Saturday’s German Cup final.

Leverkusen have had a historic season, clinching their first Bundesliga title without a single loss and maintaining an unbeaten streak across 51 games in all competitions. Ademola Lookman played a crucial role in Atalanta’s 3-0 victory over Marseille in the semifinal’s second leg, helping his team secure a 4-1 aggregate win. Meanwhile, Boniface and Tella were on the bench as Leverkusen drew 2-2 with Roma, advancing 4-2 on aggregate thanks to two late goals.

Lookman has been a key player for Atalanta this season, scoring 12 goals and providing 8 assists. Boniface, despite a three-month injury hiatus, has shone in his debut season in Germany, netting 21 goals and assisting 10 times. Tella has also made significant contributions to Leverkusen, scoring 7 goals and providing 6 assists.

For Atalanta, a win would break a 61-year trophy drought, having lost three Coppa Italia finals in the past six seasons, the most recent defeat being against Juventus. Bayer Leverkusen, on the other hand, seek to overcome their history of near misses, notably finishing as runners-up in the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, and Champions League during the 2001/02 season.


Regardless of the outcome, a Nigerian player will lift the Europa League trophy at the end of the match, whether it concludes in regular time, extra time, or penalties. This will add another name to the list of Nigerian Europa League winners, joining the likes of Victor Moses, who won the title twice with Chelsea in 2013 and 2019, John Mikel Obi with Chelsea in 2013, and Samuel Chukwueze with Villarreal in 2021.

The anticipation is high as football fans eagerly await to see which Nigerian star will emerge victorious in this historic final.


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