Football fans around the world have been on the edge of their seats as Nigerian footballers dazzled in recent European competitions. Some left us with a bitter taste in our mouths, while others gave us sweet memories to cherish.
In the Champions League, it was a mixed bag of emotions for Nigerians.
Zaidu Sanusi’s FC Porto put up a gallant fight but were knocked out of the competition by Inter Milan, losing 1-0 on aggregate.
On the other hand, Napoli’s Victor Osimhen rose to the occasion, scoring two vital goals in their 3-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt.
History was made as Osimhen became the first Nigerian to score twice in the knockout stage of the Champions League, and Napoli made it to the quarterfinals for the first time ever.
Moving to the Europa League, the spotlight was on Victor Boniface, who played a crucial role in Union Saint-Gilloise’s 2-0 win over Union Berlin. The match saw the Belgians progress to the quarterfinals with a 5-3 aggregate score.
Unfortunately, Anderson Esiti and Ferencvaros were unable to replicate this success, and they were eliminated from the competition after losing 2-0 to Bayer Leverkusen on the night and 4-0 on aggregate.
Bright Osayi-Samuel may have watched from the bench as Fenerbahce lost 2-1 to Sevilla on aggregate, but he’s sure to come back even stronger.
In the UEFA Europa Conference League, Gift Orban was the absolute standout performer.
His fantastic hat trick in KAA Gent’s 4-1 away win at Istanbul Basaksehir was the fastest in UEFA club competitions’ history.
The incredible Terem Moffi also got in on the action, scoring for OGC Nice in their 3-1 victory over Rasheed Akanbi’s Sheriff, allowing them to advance to the quarterfinals.
Unfortunately, Samuel Chukwueze and Villarreal were stunned by Anderlecht, who claimed a shock 1-0 win.
And while Leke James was involved, it wasn’t enough to prevent Sivasspor’s disappointing 1-4 home defeat to Fiorentina, which saw them exit the competition.
With so much excitement in European football coming from Nigeria, fans worldwide can’t wait to see what’s next for these talented players!