• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Atalanta hero Lookman plays down Bergamo street-naming honour


Atalanta star Ademola Lookman has laughed off a suggestion that a street in Italy, Bergamo could be named after him following his heroic performance in the Uefa Europa League final where his hat-trick helped the Nerazzurri defeat Bayer Leverkusen in Dublin on Wednesday night.

The 26-year-old Nigerian forward, who joined Atalanta for €9.35 million from RB Leipzig two summers ago, has been having an outstanding season.

Lookman’s extraordinary season culminated in the UEFA Europa League final, where he scored a hat-trick against Leverkusen, leading Atalanta to a historic 3-0 victory and their first major European trophy.

His performance not only ended Leverkusen’s 51-match unbeaten streak but also set several records, solidifying his status as a football legend.

Speaking after his heroic performance in the 2023/24 UEFA Europa League final where an Italian journalist asked him if a street in Bergamo might one day be named after him, Lookman laughed but acknowledged the immense support he feels from the fans.

“I feel the support from the fans from the first minute I was in Bergamo,” he added. “The city of Bergamo gives me a sense of calmness. It’s a very calm, relaxed city and that has helped me a lot with my living style. I’m focused on the important things.”

The Nigerian winger is one of about 120,000 people who live in the northern Italian city close to Milan and his impact at Atalanta has been significant, endearing him to the local community.

This gesture comes after his remarkable goal in Atalanta’s 3-0 victory over Olympique Marseille in the semi-finals of the Europa League where a couple based in Palosco, a district in Bergamo close to Atalanta named their child after Lookman following his stellar performance against Marseille.

Lookman’s journey to success at Atalanta is impressive given his previous season with Leicester City, which ended in relegation and left many doubting his potential. However, he has silenced his critics by becoming one of Gian Piero Gasperini’s most reliable players.