Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Ademola Lookman: Atalanta’s hat-trick hero targets more glory after Europa League history

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Immediately after the final whistle Lookman told TNT Sports “it’s one of the best nights of my life”. Perhaps understated.

A Dublin party was “100%” planned, he added. “We’ve got to celebrate, we made history tonight.”

Lookman joined Gasperini’s post-match news conference midway through and after the manager had left he spoke about the role he has had in his career.

“The past few years, the club and coach have supported me in terms of giving me minutes… it’s helped me elevate my game to a new level,” he added.

“The first few conversations we had, made me look at football a bit differently. It made it simpler in my mind in terms of what he expected from me.

“It made me look at, and play, my game in a different light. I’m very grateful to him.”

Lookman laughed when an Italian journalist claimed a street may be named after him in Bergamo one day.

The forward is one of about 120,000 people who live in the northern Italian city close to Milan.

“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.

Lookman’s mentor and coach of former youth side Waterloo, Felix Emanus, also spoke to TNT Sports after the game.

“I really can’t tell you my emotions – sky high,” he said. “We’ve been dreaming about this for a long time, since Ade was a kid at Waterloo. Tonight was a dream come true.

“I cried when the third goal went in. I’m so happy for Ade. He works so hard, quiet lad. Sometimes misunderstood because of his quietness but he’s a great kid. Wants to learn, wants to always get better and wants to reach the top.”

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