"It's the best night of my life" – Ademola Lookman Reacts To Scoring HAT-TRICK In Atalanta 3-0 WIN Over Bayer Leverkusen In UEL Final.

Ademola Lookman's stunning hat-trick fired Atalanta to their first silverware in 61-years as Bayer Leverkusen’s 51 games unbeaten season came to an end in the Europa League final on Wednesday night in Dublin.

Ademola Lookman was the Man of the Match, scoring a historic hat-trick, with each goal arguably even better than the one that preceded it.

The London-born Nigeria's Super Eagles star, opened the scoring in the 12thminute of the encounter by embarrassing Exequiel Palacios with a brilliant blindside run, he became just the third Nigerian player to score in a major European final, after Alex Iwobi for Arsenal and Joe Aribo for Rangers. 

With his sublime second strike, he became the first African to score twice in a UEFA final. 

Then, he wrote his name in the history books with his thunderous third goal, becoming only the sixth player to score a hat-trick in a European final, and the first player to score a hat-trick in the Europa League final since Jupp Heynckes for Borussia Monchengladbach all the way back in 1975.

The 3-0 victory saw Atalanta nicknamed La Dea [The Goddess], win their only second trophy in their 116-year history, six decades on from lifting their last trophy Coppa Italia in 1963.

Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini who has led the club since 2016, became the fourth oldest manager to win a major European trophy after Raymond Goethals, Jupp Heynckes and Sir Alex Ferguson.

It was his first trophy of his 21-year managerial career.

He had previously lost three times in the Coppa Italia final with Atalanta, but has now finally striking gold at the fourth time of asking, what a way to bounce back from their last week's defeat to Juventus in the Coppa Italia final.

Atalanta also became the first Italian team to win this tournament since 1999.

Lookman hat-trick was only second scored for an Italian side in the final of a major European competition after Pierino Prati for Milan against Ajax in the 1969 European Cup.

Immediately after the final whistle Lookman told TNT Sports "it's one of the best nights of my life".

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

“Amazing performance from the team, we did it, we did it, we did it! Not got much else to say but yeah fantastic.

“They do always say third time lucky, so yeah it is for us today [winning a final at the third attempt this season]. I’m just happy we won. We won today so yes very pleased.”

Lookman was playing Sunday League football when Charlton Athletic picked him up as a 16-year-old. 

After leaving Charlton, he struggled to shine for Premier League club Everton and Bundesliga's side RB Leipzig. He also had loan spells at Fulham and Leicester City but he kept going. He never lost faith in himself and joining Atalanta finding consistency in Italy under Gasperini, has proved the making of the man.

"I've always had the confidence in my ability to create and score goals, to help my team-mates and assist them," the 26-year-old told UEFA.

"In the past two years I've been able to take my game to a whole new level on a more consistent basis. 

"Maybe it could have come earlier, but it's come now. And this is just the beginning. I hope for more nights like this and to just keep getting better and better. That's the key"

Lookman had never managed double figures in a season for Charlton, Everton, RB Leipzig, Fulham or Leicester, but has netted 15 goals in each of his two seasons with Atalanta.

Lookman further 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."

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