Super Eagles Duo Ensures Barcelona Miss Out on €5.6 Million With UEFA Champions League Defeat

Super Eagles Duo Ensures Barcelona Miss Out on €5.6 Million With UEFA Champions League Defeat

Ero Samson
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
UEFA Champions League logo
  • Barcelona faced off against Belgian club Royal Antwerp
  • Two Nigerians were on hand to ensure Xavi Hernandez's side fell to a defeat
  • The La Liga club missed out on a huge sum with the defeat on the night

Barcelona’s final UEFA Champions League group stage fixture left them with another bitter pill to swallow.

The La Liga club, which have been less than impressive through the 2023-24 season, had managed to seal qualification before their final group fixture against Royal Antwerp.

However, while the fixture against the Belgian outfit was with little significance, the financial implications attached to the game meant the Catalan club were forced to pay keen attention to it.

UEFA Champions League, Barcelona, Chidera Ejuke
Chidera Ejuke and Oriol Romeu compete for the ball during the UEFA Champions League match between Royal Antwerp FC and FC Barcelona. Image: Pedro Salado.
Source: Getty Images

Nonetheless, while Xavi Hernandez’s side did all to seek victory on the night, even with the fielding of marquee forward Robert Lewandowski, two Nigerians were on hand to spoil the party for La Blaugrana.

Super Eagles duo cost Barcelona defeat

Super Eagles duo of Chidera Ejuke and Alhassan Yusuf were on hand to spoil the party for the La Liga giant.

According to data courtesy of Fotmob, Ejuke, who was named Player of the Match, was on the field of play for 80 minutes.

The 25-year-old recorded a passing accuracy of 89%, completed nine of his 11 attempted dribbles, and won 12 of the 17 ground duels he contested, in addition to providing three key passes.

While Yusuf didn't showcase as much flair and dribbling, the 23-year-old played a crucial role, delivering a silky pass to Dutch forward Vincent Janssen, enabling their side to take the lead in the match.

The defeat had significant consequences for the Catalan club, given a report from Spanish journalist Sique Rodriguez, cited by Barca Universal, stating that Barcelona missed out on a substantial £5.6 million.

Although this amount may seem relatively small considering Barcelona's historical stature, the club's financial struggles mean that any influx of funds is greatly appreciated.

Barcelona will now shift their attention to their Spanish league clash away at struggling Ruben Baraja’s Valencia.

Serie A striker rejects Nigeria

Sports Brief in another report stated Nigerian-born Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee is not willing to represent Nigeria at the forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations even if he gets invited to the national team by Jose Peseiro.

The 22-year-old former Bayern Munich prodigy has been strongly linked with the Super Eagles following his superb performances in the Serie A this season, where he has made nine goal contributions.

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Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).