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Ademola Lookman Joins Alex Iwobi and Joe Aribo in Europa League Record Books



By Monsurah Olatunji

Nigeria international Ademola Lookman has etched his name in the Europa League record books, joining compatriots Alex Iwobi and Joe Aribo. Lookman’s remarkable hat-trick not only ended Bayer Leverkusen’s unbeaten run but also secured Atalanta’s first major European title in 60 years.

The 26-year-old Super Eagles forward scored all three goals in the 12th, 26th, and 75th minutes, making him the third Nigerian to score in a Europa League final.

Alex Iwobi was the first Nigerian to achieve this feat, scoring in the 2019 Europa League final when Arsenal faced Chelsea. Iwobi came off the bench in the 65th minute, replacing Lucas Torreira, and found the net just two minutes later. Despite his effort, Arsenal lost 4-1 to their London rivals in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Joe Aribo followed in Iwobi’s footsteps in 2022, scoring for Rangers in the final against Eintracht Frankfurt. Aribo broke the deadlock in the 57th minute, but Frankfurt equalised 12 minutes later through Rafael Borre. The match went into extra time and was eventually decided by penalties, with Frankfurt emerging as champions.

While both Iwobi and Aribo scored in their respective finals but ended on the losing side, Lookman became the first Nigerian to score and win a Europa League final. His historic performance not only brought glory to Atalanta but also cemented his place in the annals of Nigerian football history.

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