Europa League final: Lookman takes on Boniface, Tella in quest for glory

By Milcah Tanimu

The 2024 Europa League final is poised to showcase Nigerian talent as Ademola Lookman of Atalanta goes head-to-head against Victor Boniface and Nathan Tella of Bayer Leverkusen in a quest for glory.

The highly anticipated final between the German champions and Atalanta is scheduled to take place in Dublin on Wednesday, followed by Leverkusen’s clash against second-tier Kaiserslautern in the German Cup final on Saturday.

Leverkusen’s remarkable Bundesliga triumph, clinched without a single defeat, sets the stage for an exhilarating showdown. The club remains undefeated in 51 games across all competitions this season, underlining their formidable form.

Lookman’s pivotal role in Atalanta’s journey to the final was highlighted by his crucial goal in the 3-0 victory over Marseille in the semifinals. On the Leverkusen side, both Boniface and Tella, though unused substitutes in the semifinals, have made significant contributions throughout the season.

Lookman’s impressive tally of 12 goals and 8 assists for Atalanta this season underscores his impact on the team. Similarly, Boniface has enjoyed a stellar debut season in Germany, netting 21 goals and providing 10 assists, despite facing a three-month injury hiatus. Tella has added depth to Leverkusen’s squad with 7 goals and 6 assists.

For Atalanta, a victory would mark their first major trophy in 61 years, ending a series of Coppa Italia final defeats. Leverkusen, on the other hand, aims to shed its reputation of reaching finals without clinching victory, reminiscent of their 2001/02 season.

Regardless of the outcome, a Nigerian player is poised to lift the Europa League trophy, joining the ranks of Victor Moses and John Mikel Obi as previous winners. Moses secured the title twice with Chelsea in 2013 and 2019, while Mikel Obi claimed victory with Chelsea in 2013, alongside Samuel Chukwueze with Villarreal in 2021.


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