Europa LeagueNigerian Footballers Abroad

‘One of the best night’s of my life’ – Ademola Lookman reacts to his Europa League final heroics

Ademola Lookman became a legend at Atalanta with his stunning hat-trick in the Europa League final, a feat that took even his coach, Gian Piero Gasperini, by surprise.

The Nigerian winger, born in London, scored three goals in Atalanta’s victory over Bayer Leverkusen in Dublin. This achievement makes Lookman only the sixth player to score a hat-trick in a European final, the first since Jupp Heynckes for Borussia Monchengladbach in the 1975 UEFA Cup.

Lookman’s goals helped Atalanta defeat a strong Bayer Leverkusen team, which hadn’t lost a game in almost a year under coach Xabi Alonso. Lookman, 26, who previously played for Charlton, Everton, RB Leipzig, Fulham, and Leicester, had never scored double digits in a season until he joined Atalanta.

After the final whistle Lookman told TNT Sports “it’s one of the best nights of my life”. Perhaps understated.

He added. “We’ve got to celebrate, we made history tonight.”

Lookman joined Gasperini’s post-match news conference midway through and after the manager had left he spoke about the role he has had in his career.

“The past few years, the club and coach have supported me in terms of giving me minutes… it’s helped me elevate my game to a new level,” Ademola Lookman continued..

“The first few conversations we had, made me look at football a bit differently. It made it simpler in my mind in terms of what he expected from me.

“It made me look at, and play, my game in a different light. I’m very grateful to him.”

Lookman laughed when an Italian journalist claimed a street may be named after him in Bergamo one day.

The forward is one of about 120,000 people who live in the northern Italian city close to Milan.

“I feel the support from the fans from the first minute I was in Bergamo,” he added. “The city of Bergamo gives me a sense of calmness. It’s a very calm, relaxed city and that has helped me a lot with my living style. I’m focused on the important things.” Ademola Lookman remarked.

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