Connect with us


What the Europa League Final could mean for Nigeria



What the Europa League Final could mean for Nigeria

The Europa League final tonight is as much a Nigerian affair as it is a battle between Bayer Leverkusen and Atalanta.

Talk about a narrative that pits not just 2 nations against one another, but amusingly bringing a non-European nation into the conversation. Two Nigerian stars are set to feature for both sides in the final; two of which have both featured for the Super Eagles, albeit one playing at the AFCON and even having a better campaign in general than the other.

However, as all dilemmas go, one happens to play for a side that has managed to stay unbeaten throughout the season, has gotten into two cup finals, and won their domestic league’s first ever title. Though unlucky to miss roughly half of the season, his impact in the team prior to and after coming back from injury, saw his side get to the point they are this season.

For the other Super Eagle, his contributions for Atalanta despite going under the wire, cannot be denied, and if anyone would, then the 2024 African Cup of Nations is a bold picture that sets Ademola Lookman up for the real dilemma to come — the African Best Player of The Year Awards.

The Europa League final pits 2-brothers against each other…

What the Europa League Final could mean for Nigeria

With 12 goals, and 8 assists to lead the Atalanta attack from the wings and 4 goal contributions for Nigeria at the AFCON to lead the Super Eagles into the final against Ivory Coast, Ademola Lookman will be playing in 2 finals this campaign, one of which he has already lost.

For Victor Boniface, this season with Bayer Leverkusen has seen him feature in 30-games so far, with Boniface chalking up 28-goal contributions for his team despite missing much of the season through a freak injury. Like Lookman, he also scored a goal in the Europa League that sets up a meeting with Atalanta and his Super Eagles teammate.

Two players, two different teams and same nationality meeting in a European Final that could determine the outcome of the African Best Player of The Year Awards depending on which side the coin favors come full time whistle.

It is also possible that the outcome of the Europa League Final may not mean much in the grand scheme of things to determine the African awards in favor of either Nigerian player, but the battle between Bayer Leverkusen and Atalanta will be one of the yardsticks for the African Player of the Year awards if it comes to 2 or 3 of the African players set to face off tonight.