The group stages of the 2019/2020 UEFA Champions League season commences on September 17, 2019, with no less than seven footballers of Nigerian descent in the mix.
Lokomotiv Moscow’s Brian Idowu, LOSC Lille’s Victor Oshimen, Dinamo Zagreb’s Iyayi Atienwem, Genk’s duo of Paul Onuachu and Stephen Odey, Club Brugge’s David Okereke and Emmanuel Dennis already have their sights set on winning the coveted UCL trophy after the draws were decided on Thursday.
Other Nigerians in the competition include Benfica’s Tyronne Ebuehi, Ademola Lookman, Slavia Prague’s Peter Olayinka
Ligue 1’s current highest goal scorer and new entrant Victor Oshimen will hope to steal the spotlight on the European stage when Lille faces Ajax, Valencia, and Chelsea in Group H of the Champions League.
Already, the 20-year-old has quickly asserted his presence in France with four goals in three matches
Oshimen is the only Nigerian in the 2019/2020 UCL who has represented Nigeria at the U17, U20 levels and has registered four appearances with the Senior National team, Super Eagles.
Brian Idowu is a defender and the only Nigerian in Group D of the 2019/2020 UEFA Champions League.
The 27-year-old has made only three appearances for Lokomotiv Moscow in the Russian Premier League this season and will be confronted with the headache of stopping Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo, Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa and Bayern Leverkusen’s Kevin Volland when the UCL returns.
Idowu has made ten (10) appearances for the Super Eagles of Nigeria and recorded a goal against Argentina in a friendly on his debut.
Two Belgian top flight Forwards, Paul Onuachu and Stephen Odey are on course to turn in the numbers for KRC Genk.
Stephen Odey is yet to find the back of the net for the new season and has had to start from the bench in his two appearances for the Belgian Club.
The MFM record goal scorer has featured thrice on the Super Eagles’ team list and is yet to get his first goal in Nigerian colours.
Paul Onuachu’s move to the Belgium club nine days ago made the Super Eagles Forward the most expensive Nigerian ever sold from the Danish League.
Onuachu raked in a total of 17 goals to help former club FC Midtjylland finish first in the Danish Superliga last season and will hope to replicate the same form with the help of Odey against Liverpool, Napoli, and Salzburg in Group E.
Denis Bonaventure and David Okereke will fly the Nigerian flag in Group A when Club Brugge take on the likes of Real Madrid, PSG, and Galatasaray while former Nigeria U23 player Iyayi Atiemwien will campaign with Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb who are in Group C against Shakhtar Donetsk, Manchester City, and Atalanta.
Former 36 Lions Striker, Peter Olayinka will relish the moment to help Slavia Prague against Lionel Messi’s Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, and Inter Milan while Super Eagles Defender Tyronne Ebuehi will hope to recover on time to face Zenit, Lyon and Ademola Lookman’s RB Leipzig in Group G.
Full List of Nigerians in the 2019/2020 UEFA Champions League
Club Brugge (Denis Bonaventure, David Okereke)
Dnamo Zagreb (Iyayi Atiemwien)
Lokomotiv Moscow (Brian Idowu)
Genk (Paul Onuachu and Stephen Odey)
Slavia Prague (Peter Olayinka)
Benfica (Tyronne Ebuehi)
Lille OSC (Victor Oshimen)