Nigeria Coach Finidi George Weighs In on Ademola Lookman's Display in Europa League Final

Nigeria Coach Finidi George Weighs In on Ademola Lookman's Display in Europa League Final

Edwin Kiplagat
May 24, 2024 at 7:55 AM
In this article:
Ademola Lookman logo
A. Lookman
Atalanta logoFNigeria logo
Atalanta logo
Bayer Leverkusen logo
Bayer Leverkusen
UEFA Europa League logo
UEFA Europa League
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  • Ademola Lookman led Atalanta to Europa League glory on Wednesday, May 22
  • The Nigerian bagged a hat-trick against Bundesliga champs, Bayer Leverkusen
  • Super Eagles coach Finidi George has praised the 26-year-old's performance

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Atalanta star Ademola Lookman produced a historic performance in the Europa League final against Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday, May 22.

The Nigerian bagged a hat-trick to help his team win their first trophy in six decades.

Nigeria coach Finidi George has joined the millions of fans in lauding the Super Eagles international for his performance.

Ademola Lookman, Nigeria, Finidi George, Atalanta, Bayer Leverkusen, Xabi Alonso, Victor Boniface
Atalanta's Ademola Lookman will be a key player under Nigeria coach, Finidi George. Photos by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto and Nigeria Football Federation (Instagram).
Source: Getty Images

Atalanta went into the contest as underdogs against unbeaten Bayer Leverkusen, who had just lifted their first-ever Bundesliga title a few days earlier.

Nevertheless, Lookman had other plans. He scored twice in the first half, then sealed the win last in the second half with a well-taken goal to seal his treble.

Finid was delighted with Lookman's performance, per All Nigeria Soccer.

"As a Nigerian, I'm so delighted and I'm happy for Lookman that his team has won the Europa League and [that he] scored three goals, which has not happened in a very long time, or maybe in the history of the Europa League. So I'm quite happy for him and looking forward to having him in camp."

The newly appointed Super Eagles boss personally congratulated the forward.

"Ademola is a player that we need. We love him, and I'm glad for him that he had that spectacular performance yesterday. I sent him a message to congratulate him, not just him but also [Victor] Boniface and [Nathan] Tella."

The 26-year-old scored three goals at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, all in the knockout stage against Angola and Cameroon, per Transfermarkt.

Lookman makes history

Sports Brief earlier reported on Lookman making history with his hat-trick in the Europa League final, which pitted Atalanta against Leverkusen.

The Nigerian forward became the first player in history to score a hat-trick in a single leg of the final of a UEFA Cup or its renamed Europa League.

How Lookman became a star

Sports Brief also reported on Atalanta manager, Gian Piero Gasperini detailing how Lookman became a top star.

The veteran coach said he set the Nigerian into a more attacking role, helping him become the player he is today.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.