“He Rejected Nigerian Three Times”: 5 Things People Don’t Know About UEL Champion Ademola Lookman

  • Super Eagles star Ademola Lookman recently made history as the first player ever to score a hat-trick in the final of a UEFA competition
  • Lookman’s heroics on Wednesday night, May 22, 2024, in Dublin saw Atalanta win its first major silverware in 117 years since it was established
  • Over the last 12 months, the Nigerian striker has proven to be one of the young forwards in Europe and Africa, but how well does his fans know him
  • TheTalk.NG in this article has highlighted five unique things that many football lovers and fans of Ademola Lookman don’t know about him

UEFA Europa League winner Ademola Lookman recently made history after his performance in the UEL final against Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen.

Ademola Lookman helped his Serie A side, Atalanta, win its first major European trophy since it was created in 1907.

A look at Ademola Lookman's journey before he became a UEL hero.Amidst his UEL heroics, TheTalk.NG celebrates Ademola Lookman as we highlight five things about him that people don’t known about him.
Photo credit: @molalookmanSource: Instagram

Over the last few hours, the Nigerian soccer player has been the name on the lips of many football fans as records of his heroics in the UEL final have gone viral.

But how well do his fans know him? TheTalk.NG, in this piece, plans to help resolve this conundrum. We have highlighted five things many people don’t know about Ademola Lookman.

Is he a British or Nigerian?

The UK-bred footballer was born to a Nigerian mother and father in Wandsworth, England. He grew up and schooled in the deprived UK area of Peckham.

Lookman started his football career at the English Championship side, Charlton Athletic. He made his first professional debut as a football at 16 for Charlton in 2015.

He scored his first goal for Charlton in the defeat against Brighton & Hove Albion. He followed that up quickly with a couple more goals in the next game against Bolton Wanderers.

Ademola Lookman is a Nigerian born to a mother and father from Osun state but was raised in the UK.

How many clubs has Lookman played for?

Ademola Lookman’s football career is a little bit to what many sports people would call that of a journeyman.

He started his career at Charlton where he spent two years before moving to the EPL side, Everton in 2017.

During his time at Everton he was unable to break into the first time and was shipped out on loan to German side, RB Leipzig. After a season-long loan there he was able to earn a five year contract but ended up getting loaned out to Fulham and then Leicester City by RB Leipzig.

After his time at Leicester City, Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini took Lookman off the books of RB Leipzig and took him to Bergamo.

Why he rejected Nigeria thrice

Many might not know, but Lookman is a trophy winner with the English Under21 side. He started his international career with the Three Lions, representing King Charles’ country at multiple Youth grade competitions.

However, due to his Nigerian ties, the former NFF president, Amaju Pinnick, reached out to him not once nor twice that he should come and represent the green and white.

He rejected the first offer in 2017 when former Super Eagle coach Gernot Rohr invited him to join the national team set-up.

In 2018, Lookman turned down another invite to play for the Super Eagles; this time, the ex-NFF president, Amaju Pinnick, had a meeting with him.

Later in 2018, September to be precise, the NFF reached out to Lookman, and he turned down the offer once again to play for the Super Eagles.

In January 2020, he finally decided to join the Super Eagles’ national team, and his career has taken off ever since.

Ademola Lookman’s achievements and records

Since arriving at Atalanta, Ademola Lookman’s game has improved tremendously. He scored 15 goals and 11 assists in his first season at the Bergamo and was named the fourth most dangerous forward player in the Serie A for the 2022/2023 season.

In the 2023/24 season, Lookman has scored 15 more goals across all the tournaments he has played for Atalanta and has 15 assists.

He has won the FIFA U20 championship. Lookman was a huge member of the 2017 squad, along with Fikayo Tomori, Reece James, Ezri Konsa, Dominic Calvert-Lewis, Japhet Tanganga, Dominic Solanke, and many more.

Ademola Lookman was a key member of the Super Eagles squad that lost in the 2023 AFCON final. He scored three goals to help the Eagles reach the final.

The Super Eagles star was named Atlanta Player of the Year for the 2022/2023 season. In 2015/2016, he was also named the LFE Apprentice of the Year (Championship).

Third time luck

Before the Europa League final on Wednesday night, May 22, 2024, Lookman had been involved in two finals, which he lost on both occasions.

He lost in the 2023 AFCON final with Nigeria against Cote d’Ivoire. Lookman also started in the final for Atalanta in their Coppa Italia final loss against Juventus.

However, the striker was confident that Atalanta could pull the rabbit out of the hat in the final against Xabi Alonso’s all-conquering Bayer Leverkusen side.

Days before the UEL final, a journalist asked Lookman about defeating a side on a 51-game unbeaten run.

Lookman responded, saying third-time luck.

Ademola Lookman seen miming Asake’s song

Meanwhile TheTalk.NG recalls reporting a video of Ademola Lookman miming one of Asake’s songs when he joined the Super Eagles camo for the 2023 AFCON.

That was his first tournament with the team. He and his colleague, Calvin Bassey were made to stand on a chair and sing as they were fully inducted into the Super Eagles camp as a proper national team player.

Source: TheTalk.NG


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