Super Eagles Stars Boniface, Tella, Lookman Face Off In Europa Final

Super Eagles Stars Boniface, Tella, Lookman Face Off In Europa Final

One of the attractions of tonight’s UEFA Europa League final is the faceoff between Nigerian internationals when Bayer Leverkusen of German and Atlanta of Italy square up in Dublin, Ireland for second European club competition trophy.

Super Eagles star Ademola Lookman, who was the star of his team’s win over Marseille with a goal and an assist in their Semifinal clash, will face Nathan Tella and Victor Boniface in the final.

Atalanta made it into the final of the Europa League with a 2-0 home win over French side Olympique Marseille with Lookman featuring prominently.

Bayer Leverkusen will secure the second piece of silverware in their historic 2023/24 season if they beat Atalanta to the UEFA Europa League crown in Dublin.


Victor Boniface who was Leverkusen’s top soccer in the Bundesliga and last season’s Europa League top scorer may well start on the substitutes’ bench with Patrik Schick look likely to be given the nod. Matěj Kovář will start between the sticks as the preferred cup goalkeeper.

To state Xaxi Alonso-led Leverkusen are on the cusp of greatness would not be just – they already must go down as one of the all-time great teams of the German game after becoming the first-ever side to go an entire Bundesliga season unbeaten, and can become  conquerors in Europe too in Dublin with only Atalanta standing between them and the club’s first continental honour since winning the competition in its previous guise as the UEFA Cup in 1988.

Leverkusen’s route to the final has been far from a procession, with a remarkable last-16 tie against Qarabağ almost seeing their elimination and late goals needed against Roma in the semi-final, yet the Bundesliga champions will be favourites to lift the trophy in Ireland.


Atalanta have had a superb season in their own right, experiencing some of the elation Leverkusen fans can identify with as a club not used to lifting honours.


Only a 1-0 defeat to Juventus in the Copa Italia final last week denied the Black and Blues the second title in their club history. They have faced an intense end to the domestic campaign as they chase UEFA Champions League qualification, but it is a period they have navigated with stunning form – taking five Serie A wins in a row while making the Copa Italia final and knocking both Liverpool and Marseille out of the Europa League.


Their highly respected coach Gian Piero Gasperini has surely been long pondering how to become the first side to beat Leverkusen this season.

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