Football fans across Nigeria will be in high tension on the 26th of May 2020 as it is going to be the Uefa Europa League final. It will be a question of patriotism to the country or club side as Nigerian Manchester United fans will have Nigerian Samuel Chukwueze against Manchester United playing the Europa final.
Samuel Chukwueze plays for Spanish top side Villarreal, and they will be playing Manchester United. Nigerian football fans will want to see their very own lift the Uefa Europa League trophy celebrating with the famous green, white green flag just as Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi did when they won the English F.A Cup.
Also, Assist Oshoala, who plays for Spanish top side Barcelona, won the Women’s Uefa Champions League and celebrated it with the Nigerian flag. No Nigerian has won the Europa League since John Obi Mikel won the title with English top Chelsea. Samuel Chukwueze winning the trophy with Villarreal will really smile not just on his face but also the faces of millions of Nigeria across the country.
Manchester United ended second in their league table and have already booked a place in next season’s Uefa Champions League. At the same time, Villarreal, on the other, could not make it to the Uefa Champions League spot in the Spanish La Liga, which means they will do all they can to lift the trophy, which will be a direct ticket to the Uefa Champions League.
Football Fans in Confusion of Who to Support
Villarreal beat English side Arsenal to book a place in the Uefa Europa League final while Manchester United beat Italian side AS Roma to pick up the final ticket. Manchester United Nigerian fans are caught up in the middle as they will face supporting their countryman or supporting their childhood club.
Manchester United was knocked out of the competition last season by Spanish side Sevilla in the semi-finals, and facing another Spanish side in the final will mean United will do all they can to lift the trophy. It is Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer’s first final since arriving at Old Trafford as manager of the club.
Remember Manchester United have not won any trophy since the departure of Jose Mourinho. Mourinho is the last manager in Manchester United to win a major trophy which was the Europa League. United has added many players to their squad now, so it is expected for them to leave the trophy.
They ended in the second-place position in the just concluded English Premier League 2019-20 season. They also made history in the final day game, which was against Wolves. They are the second team to go a whole season without losing an away game in the English Premier League. Arsenal has made that record, and Arsenal did it twice in 2001 and 2004 when they went unbeaten throughout the whole season.
They will play the game in front of about 40,000 football fans, which will help boost the players’ morale as they have not played in front of fans for something now due to the global pandemic coronavirus. United is likely to play without their skipper Harry Maguire who is currently nursing an injury.
The last time Manchester United won the Uefa Europa League, about half of their first-team players were nursing one injury or the other. For Villarreal, the only player who is still in doubt is the man who has divided the hearts of Nigerian Manchester United football fans Samuel Chukwueze.
The Nigerian was not in their last game of the league against Real Madrid, which ended 2-1 in favour of Real Madrid. Still, rumour has it that the player is back to their camp and has resumed training, but the certainty of his playing the Europa League final is still in doubt.