“I cried” – Ademola Lookman’s youth coach fulfilled after Europa League final performance

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Ademola Lookman’s youth coach, Felix Emanus, was moved to tears after watching the Nigeria International annihilate Leverkusen at the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday, reports.

A young Lookman started his football at a young age on the streets of South London before joining Charlton Athletic in 2014. Everton were impressed with the Nigerian and forked out £11m to secure his services in 2018.

He never really got going with the Merseysiders, before joining RB Leipzig the following year. He was sent out on loans to Leicester City and Fulham, where they got relegated under Scott Parker alongside Ola Aina.

Lookman joined Atalanta in 2022 and has grown from strength to strength under the tutelage of Gian Piero Gasperini, scoring 30 goals and providing 16 assists in 76 games for the Bergamo side.

His name was on the lips of every Nigerian at the end of the Europa League final after he scored a hat-trick to break Leverkusen’s 51-game unbeaten streak, handing Atalanta their first-ever European trophy.

Lookman’s youth coach was moved to tears after seeing the little boy he coached make him proud on the big stage.

“I really can’t tell you my emotions – sky high, sky high. We’ve been dreaming about this for a long time since Ade was a kid at Waterloo. I’d just like to say a couple of words to the coaches at Waterloo. Not just myself, but all the people who worked with Ademola and have strived to get him where he is. Fantastic player. Tonight was a dream come true. I cried when the third goal went in, and I don’t cry. People who know me, people watching right now might be thinking, you big sissy,” an emotional Felix Emanus told TNT Sports.

Lookman’s youth coach revealed how much of a hard worker the 26-year-old is, echoing the opinion of former Fulham coach, Stuart Gray.

“I’m so glad for Ade. He works hard, a 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. He thrives on a big stage, he’s never been afraid. When I took him to trials, I’d be more nervous than him. He’d be calm and cool, get the job done,” his Waterloo coach added.

Lookman helped Nigeria to reach the AFCON 2023 final earlier this year and was included in the team of the tournament. His impressive performances this season have put him as a front-runner for the CAF Player of the Year award.