Twitter Can’t Keep Calm as Burna Boy Sizzles at the UCL Final

Twitter Can’t Keep Calm as Burna Boy Sizzles at the UCL Final
Credit: Iconsport

Manchester City may have won the UEFA Champions League to crown off an incredible season in which they became the second English team to win a treble, but for many Nigerian fans, musical artiste Burna Boy is the big winner of the tournament.

The afrobeat and afro-fusion sensation performed at the closing ceremony of the tournament to the thousands of fans who were psyched for the Manchester City-Inter Milan clash as they waited for the players to take to the pitch. It was a big night for Nigeria who did not have any Super Eagles player in either matchday squad.

Burna Boy Sizzles at the Pre-Game Show for the 2023 Champions League Final

On a big night for Nigerian music and culture, Burna Boy, a Manchester United fan, cast aside his club bias to entertain Manchester City fans as well as Inter Milan fans, who travelled from England and Italy to watch their clubs in the Champions League final.

The 74,000-seater capacity was brimming with the excitement of 71,412 people on the night. Burna Boy performed a few of his hit songs, including the wildly popular “It’s Plenty” which he calls his “Enjoyment anthem” to the hearing of many and got the stadium bouncing.

His performance, while limited to the pre-show of the final, was very iconic that Manchester City fans celebrated using his song with UK musical artiste Dave. It was a great night for the singer who has had a busy schedule that included performing at an NBA event early this year.

Burna Boy Becomes First African Artist to Perform in the UCL; Gets Criticism From Marco Van Basten

The artiste’s night was more memorable as he became the first African musician/performer to grace the stage of Europe’s most elite competition. It did not take long for him to put Africa on the map because UEFA only recently introduced performances like these to their competition in a bid to harness the power of entertainment for a number of reasons that also include football.

Brazilian act Anitta also performed at the pre-show, making the 2023 final the first one to be headlined by acts from outside Europe. It was a sight to behold for all the fans at the 74,000-seater capacity stadium.

However, the musical numbers were not well received by all. Speaking on commentary duty for a Dutch broadcaster, Netherlands legend Marco Van Basten blasted UEFA for trying to make the Champions League like American sports.

“It's ridiculous that this show is taking place,” he said. “Why not do it before the warming up? These players are just standing still there, waiting. It should be about these footballers, about football. It happens at the World Cup too. Ridiculous.”

Some fans were in agreement, suggesting the performance should be scheduled for before the teams warm up with one fan stating: “I totally agree. It should be done before the warm-up. Last thing players will like to see before the biggest of their season.”

Burna Boy Delivers Exclusive Performance for Henry, Carragher

As an invited guest, the Nigerian superstar saw the game from start to finish. He watch as Pep Guardiola coached a masterclass to cancel out Simone Inzaghi’s tactics and win his third UEFA Champions League title in 15 years as a manager. He joined the celebrations after and stopped over at the stand of the CBS Golazo crew, who cover the Champions League for American broadcasters CBS.

The crew, comprised of Arsenal legend and Champions League winner Thierry Henry, Liverpool great and Champions League winner Jamie Carragher, former Manchester City defender Micah Phillips and sports broadcaster Kate Abdo were welcoming of the artiste.

He shared some fun moments with them, commented on the final from a fan’s perspective and gave a small performance for the crew after being prodded by Carragher. Burna Boy also shrewdly avoided starting a Nigerian fan Twitter meltdown when he was asked by the crew who Nigeria’s best player between Kanu Nwankwo and Austin “Jay Jay” Okocha is. It was a fun moment in the CBS Golazo show and for the Nigerian fans who tuned in to the UCL final.

Burna Boy Shares Touching Moment with Thierry Henry

In the CBS Golazo segment, Burna Boy also revealed that he is a big fan of Thierry Henry. While commenting on his admiration for the legendary players on the show’s broadcasting lineup, he showed special appreciation for Henry by adorning him with his special necklace which serves as a memorial of his friend’s passing.

The afrobeat and afro-fusion artiste said after placing the diamond-encrusted necklace around Henry’s neck, “You see the person on this is my best friend. I lost my best friend and knowing that you are wearing this thing right now is the most special thing in the world that I could have ever done. “His name is  Gabriel Serenkuma aka Gambo.”

The moment was a touching one for the crew but their fun demeanour lightened the mood as the segment continued. Burna Boy would receive his memorial necklace back from Henry and both would share a warm embrace before the show continued.

Burna Boy Celebrates with Jack Grealish, Man City Players

Burna Boy is a popular act in England because of the large Nigerian community there. He constantly sells out shows in various cities in the country and has run into a number of celebrities including football stars.

Being a football fan, he has also toured some of the most famous stadiums of the Premier League and has shared moments with players who have admitted to being fans of his music. One such football player fan of his is Manchester City wide man Jack Grealish, who sought out Burna Boy to greet him and take a picture with him during the celebrations. Burna would also be pictured congratulating the City players for their win.

This article was most recently revised and updated 1 year ago

All-round lover of the beautiful game. Massive football fan, supported Arsenal for decades for reasons that are unexplainable. One day we will win the Champions League!