‘One of the best nights of my life’ – History-maker Lookman reacts to Atalanta’s Europa League win

‘One of the best nights of my life’ – History-maker Lookman reacts to Atalanta’s Europa League win

Nigerian forward Ademola Lookman did what no other footballer had done in the Europa League on Wednesday after scoring a hat-trick in the final to lead Atalanta to a 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen.

The 26-year-old became the first player to bag a hat-trick in the Europa League final since it became a one-match affair. He also became the first African player to score a hat-trick in the final of a major UEFA competition following his three goals at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.

Lookman, who won the Man of the Match award, praised his teammates for the victory and also revealed that it was one of the best nights of his life.

“Yeah, one of the best nights of my life,” the Super Eagles forward said while speaking with TNT Sports after the game.

“It was an amazing performance from the team,” he added. “We did it; we did it. I don’t have many words to say right now, but yeah, fantastic.

The Europa League final was Lookman’s third final of the year, and having lost the previous two—the AFCON 2023 final to Ivory Coast and most recently the Coppa Italia final to Juventus—the Nigerian forward expressed his happiness at eventually touching silverware.

“Third time lucky; they always say third time lucky, but yeah, I am just happy we won today,” he said. “We hundred percent are going to celebrate because we made history tonight.”

Lookman’s hat-trick against Leverkusen takes his season tally to 15 goals, as he finished with five goals in the Europa League.

The Nigerian helped Atalanta end a 61-year trophy drought as they clinched the club’s second major title in history since they won the Coppa Italia in the 1962–63 season, and their first-ever European title.

The victory ensured Atalanta, who are fifth in the Serie A and have two more matches to play in the league, will definitely play in the UEFA Champions League in the 2024–25 season.

It also provides them with a shot at another continental title in the UEFA Super Cup, where they will play the winner of this season’s Champions League final between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.

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