Ademola Lookman revels in historic hat-trick: "I always imagined this"

Ademola Lookman revels in historic hat-trick: "I always imagined this"

Festus Chuma 11:30 - 23.05.2024

Nigeria's Ademola Lookman scored a historic hat-trick in Europa League final leading Atalanta to a 3-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen.

Atalanta forward Ademola Lookman has vividly recollected his childhood dreams after delivering a performance that will be etched in Europa League lore. 

The Nigerian international scored the first-ever hat-trick in a Europa League final, leading Atalanta to a resounding 3-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen.

The 26-year-old striker's path to this moment was anything but straightforward. 

Following his initial strides at Charlton, he faced challenging spells at Everton and RB Leipzig, and his potential seemed to waver during loan stints at Fulham and Leicester. 

However, his career took a significant turn upon joining Atalanta, where veteran coach Gian Piero Gasperini has played a pivotal role in refining Lookman's abilities.

Reflecting on his journey and whether he envisioned such success, Lookman shared after the match.

 "Probably yeah. I’ve always had the confidence in my ability to create and score goals, to help my teammates and assist them," he said as per The Herald.

Over the past two seasons, Lookman has found the net 30 times, a testament to his evolved gameplay and increased consistency. 

Atalanta manager Gasperini expressed his astonishment at Lookman's development.

 "We thought he was a possible useful player for us, but no one ever imagined that he could really make this much progress," he said.

The victory not only spotlighted Lookman's individual brilliance but also marked a significant milestone for Atalanta, claiming their second trophy in a 116-year history and their first European title. 

"It’s perhaps one of those footballing fairy tales that very rarely crop up. It does give scope for meritocracy and ideas. It shows that it doesn’t only come down to cold, hard numbers and super leagues," he added.

On the opposite side Leverkusen's dream of an invincible season was shattered. 

The Bundesliga champions having secured their first league title and gone 51 games unbeaten faced a stark reality check.

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