“It was difficult” – Leverkusen’s Boniface reflects on AFCON heartbreak and Bundesliga absence due to injury


Super Eagles and Bayer 04 Leverkusen striker, Victor Okoh Boniface, played for his club side for the first time this year yesterday, after returning from an injury that saw him miss the AFCON 2023 tournament, reports.

The 23-year-old striker joined Die Werkself last summer from Belgian side, Union Saint-Gilloise, and immediately hit the ground running, scoring ten goals and assisting seven in 15 starts for Xabi Alonso’s men.

During Nigeria’s preparations for the AFCON 2023 tournament, Boniface picked up an adductor injury that ruled him out of the tournament, and out of football for three months. He had surgery on the thigh before recently returning to training with Leverkusen.

Leverkusen coach, Xabi Alonso, hinted at the return of the Nigeria international in Bayer’s DFB Pokal clash against 2.Bundesliga side, Fortuna Dusseldorf.

The one-time DFB Pokal winners cruised to a 4-0 victory over Dusseldorf at the Bay Arena, with Boniface playing 25 minutes of football as he was introduced from the bench. Speaking in the mixed zone after the game, Boniface revealed his journey back from injury was a tough one, but he was grateful for the support he had in that time.

“To be honest, it was very difficult, you know. I got injured in preparations to represent my country and the timing was bad because Leverkusen really needed me, but I had my teammates, I had the coach, and everyone in the club was there for me, so it was good,” the 6ft3in striker told Bayer 04 TV.

Leverkusen are 40 games unbeaten and are on course for a treble as they’re 13 points clear on the Bundesliga table, in the DFB Pokal final, and will face West Ham United in the quarter-final of the UEFA Europa League.


N.B: We want to know your thoughts. How crucial do you think Boniface’s return to the Leverkusen team is? Does it give them an edge in attack? Let us know in the comments.