September, 8 2022.
The battle for who claims the Europa League prize at the end of the season gets underway from tonight, with a total of nine Nigerians also jostling for glory. Here, CKDMedia previews them:
Moses Simon (FC Nantes)
The Nigerian winger powered Nantes into the Europa League group stage via their French Cup success last season. Simon will be hoping to get Nantes into the next round from Group G, where they will battle Olympiacos, SC Freiburg and FK Qarabag.
Sadiq Umar (Real Sociedad)
New Prince of the Anoieta, Sadiq Umar will return to Old Trafford again, this time not with FK Partizan, but Real Sociedad as the Spanish side seek to get one over Man Utd in their opening game. Real are favourites to progress from Group E with Manchester United with Omonia Nicosia and Sheriff Tiraspol on the prowl.
Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia)
The Nigerian shot stopper will slug it out with Omonia in a pulsating group where he faces uphill to go through.
Anderson Esiti (Ferencvaros)
Esiti will be lining out for the Hungarian side in Group I, where they have a fair chance of qualifying against FK Crvena Zvezda, AS Monaco and Trabzonspor.
Victor Boniface (Union Saint-Gilloise)
The ex Junior International joined the Belgian side in the summer and has started off to a tremendous season with goals involvement and minutes. The ex Glimt player will travel to Germany to play Union Berlin before games against Malmö and Sporting Braga.
Samuel Osayi (Fenerbache)
Samuel Bright-Osayi will fly the flag of Fenerbache, a good hunting ground for Nigerian players. The Turkish team have so far enjoyed the services of the versatile anglo-Nigerian. Fener are in group B and will trade tackles with Dynamo Kyiv, AEK Lanarca and Stade Rennais.
Victor Olatunji (AEK Lanarca)
Victor plies his trade with the Eastern European club, whose progress has come as a shock to many. He goes up against compatriot in Samuel Osayi in Group B.
Iyayi Believe Atiemwen (Sheriff)
The former Croatia based forward will start off the campaign against his compatriot, Francis Uzoho of Omonia. Iyayi's experience will be needed by the fringe club who upset the apple-cart two seasons ago.
Rasheed Akanbi (FC Sheriff)
Rasheed completes the trio of Nigerians who would do battle on day 1, as the Sheriff player will join forces with Iyayi Atiemwen to trouble Uzoho (AC Omonia).