Europa League Final: Xabi Alonso Involved in Classy Moment with Atalanta Boss at Full Time

Europa League Final: Xabi Alonso Involved in Classy Moment with Atalanta Boss at Full Time

Rene Otinga
updated at May 23, 2024 at 11:18 AM
In this article:
Bayer Leverkusen logo
Bayer Leverkusen
Xabi Alonso logo
X. Alonso
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Atalanta logo
Ademola Lookman logo
A. Lookman
Atalanta logoFNigeria logo
  • Xabi Alonso’s 51-game unbeaten run came to an end on Wednesday, May 22
  • Bayer Leverkusen were beaten in the Europa League final by Italian outfit Atalanta
  • Xabi Alonso had a moment with Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini at full time

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Xabi Alonso exhibited class with his reaction to losing the Europa League final to Atalanta on Wednesday, May 22, 2024.

The Spaniard’s side, Bayer Leverkusen, was handed a brutal reality check by the Italians, who emerged 3-0 winners at Dublin Arena.

Xabi Alonso, Bayer Leverkusen, Atalanta , Europa League final
Xabi Alonso suffered his first defeat of the season at the hands of Gian Piero Gasperini's Atalanta. Photo: Chris Brunskill.
Source: Getty Images

A hat-trick from Super Eagles star Ademola Lookman was enough to seal victory for Gian Piero Gasperini’s side, who capped off a remarkable Europa League campaign with a deserved trophy.

For Bayer Leverkusen, it was the worst possible way to end their unbeaten run, which was on course to reach 52 games.

Alonso’s lovely moment with Gasperini

After the game, the Leverkusen boss was openly distraught by his side’s defeat. However, he still had the grace to congratulate Gasperini, and the two managers enjoyed a brief interaction immediately after the final whistle.

In a video shared by TNT Sports, Alonso boldly approached the more experienced Gasperini, shook his hand and appeared to say a few words to the Italian gaffer.

As he approached Gasperini, the former Liverpool man’s body language also strongly suggested that he had conceded that his team was second-best in the Europa League final.

What Alonso said after the game

In his post-match remarks, Alonso confirmed that his team did not do enough to win the game.

“It was not meant to be today. We could not cope with many difficult situations that we were preparing because Atalanta, they demand so much from you, one-vs-one situations, duels,” he said, per Metro.
“So it was not meant to be, the unbeaten run has come to an end, but congratulations to Atalanta. They deserve it so nothing more to say.”

What next for Bayer Leverkusen?

Earlier this week, Alonso said it felt like his team was playing three finals in one week.

The Bundesliga champions will have to dust themselves up quickly as they play in another cup final, the DPB Pokal, against Kaiserslautern on Saturday, May 25.

Gasperini on how he transformed Lookman

Sports Brief also reported on Atalanta boss Gasperini’s take on how he transformed Ademola Lookman into a world-class player.

The Nigerian winger is in the running to be crowned Africa Player of the Year after an incredible campaign that has seen him feature in three major finals this season.

He joined Atalanta two seasons ago after struggling to establish himself in the Premier League and the Bundesliga since starting his career at Charlton as a 16-year-old.

Rene Otinga photo
Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and