The semifinals of Europe’s elite competition take center stage in less than two weeks, and some Nigerian stars will have the chance to show their brilliance on the big stage
Nigeria will be ably represented in the European competitions, as eight Super Eagles players would play in the semifinals of the Champions League, Europa League, and Europa Conference League.
Samuel Chukwueze is the only Super Eagles star left in the Champions League. The 22-year-old scored the vital goal against Bayern Munich that sealed Villarreal’s place in the semifinals after a 16-year hiatus. He would look to wave his magic wand again when the Yellow Submarine take on Liverpool for a place in the final.
The last time Villarreal qualified for the semifinals of the Champions League, they were ousted by an English side- Arsenal. But Chukwueze would look to ensure their latest English opposition does not emerge victorious.
In the Europa League, Nigeria also has representatives.
Joe Aribo, Leon Balogun, Calvin Bassey
The three players have played an important role for the Gers this season, and they would look to continue that when they clash against Leipzig in the semifinals of the Europa League.
Rangers already defeated a German opposition- Borussia Dortmund, but Leipzig could be a different proposition.
The Gers have already lost out on the league, but a Europa League triumph would wipe away any form of disappointment. Aribo seems to have returned to form, as he has been involved in three of Rangers’ last seven goals.
Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho, and Ademola Lookman
The Nigerian trio will do battle for Leicester City against AS Roma. The Foxes had to fight back to claim a 2-1 victory at the Philips stadium.
However, Ndidi is still a significant doubt for the Foxes, as it would take nothing short of a miracle for the midfielder to return just in time for the game.
Nonetheless, Kelechi Iheanacho and Ademola Lookman would look to do the battle against the Mourinho-tutored side.
The Genk loanee continues to prove his importance to Feyenoord. His brace helped his side secure the semifinal spot when they went to the Sinobo Stadium to claim a 3-1 victory over Slavia Prague.
Feyenoord will battle Marseille for a spot in the finals, and Dessers will look to continue with his indomitable scoring form in the Conference League. The Super Eagles star already has eight in ten, and he could increase his tally when he battles the former French champions.
All first legs of the semifinals take place between the 26th of April to the 28th, while the second legs take center stage between the 3rd-5th.