Lookman joins Iwobi and Aribo in history book

Lookman joins Iwobi and Aribo in history book

Faruq Ibrahim 23:15 - 22.05.2024

Super Eagles forward Ademola Lookman joined his compatriots Alex Iwobi and Joe Aribo in the Europa League elite club.

Atalanta forward Ademola Lookman became only the third Nigerian to score in the Europa League final after his hattrick against Bayer Leverkusen.

Lookman’s Atalanta went up against the German champions in the Europa League final at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland and the Nigerian fuelled his team’s ambitions and led them to glory, scoring thrice as he etched his name in the history books.

Nigerians in Europa League finals

Before Ademola’s goal in the 12th, 26th and 75th minutes of the encounter, only two other Nigerians had scored in the final of Europe’s second-tier competition.

The first Nigerian to score in the final of the Europa League was Fulham’s Alex Iwobi against Chelsea during his time at Arsenal. The Nigerian came off the bench for Arsenal in the 65th minute, replacing Lucas Torreira.

Only two minutes after coming on, he pulled one back for the Gunners, who were 3-0 behind at the time. Arsenal eventually lost 4-1 to their London rivals on a disappointing night in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The second Nigerian to score in the Europa League final was Joseph Aribo. The 27-year-old midfielder, now employed to Southampton, played for the Scottish side in the final between Frankfurt and Rangers.

Aribo scored the opener in the encounter, scoring in the 57th minute; however, the German opposition equalised 12 minutes later through Rafael Borre. The game went into extra-time and eventually penalties, through which Frankfurt emerged champions.

Iwobi and Aribo unfortunately suffered defeats despite scoring, which means, thanks to his hat trick, Lookman became the first Nigerian to score and win a Europa League final.

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