Every player yearns for a taste of UEFA Champions League action! The European club competition showpiece is, of course, the biggest stage of club football on offer anywhere in the world. Is it the atmosphere, the sensational contesting teams, the passion from the fans (of course, no fans allowed at the moment), and yes, the anthem. Oh! The Champions League is just perfect!
Now imagine a player intentionally jeopardizing his chance to show off at such a huge competition.
Nigerian forward Emmanuel Dennis was axed from Club Brugge's Champions League squad to face Borrusia Dortmund on Tuesday night for a ridiculous action of his. He is said to have stormed off the club's team bus - which was about to head to Dortmund for their Tuesday Champions League tie - on Monday after he was refused an opportunity to sit at his favourite seat. That really is another level of crazy. I mean, it's just like walking off casino Nigeria because of a slight provocation after you had just staked high on a game you know you are good at.
In the actual sense, Dennis has arguably been Club Brugge's best player in European competitions of late. He stole the limelight at Santiago Bernabeu last year as he pulled off a Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired celebration, right in front of a silenced home crowd, after netting a brace against Real Madrid in one of their group meetings with the Belgian side. When the Blue-Blacks later dropped off to the Europa League, Dennis also appeared to be their only shinning light as he scored a brilliant goal in their eventual 1-1 draw with Manchester United at home. However, his absence owing to injury in the following reverse fixture at Old Trafford was badly felt as Phillipe Clement's men fell to a 5-0 defeat.
The Nigerian international has already picked up from where he stopped last term, scoring in the away win against Zenit St. Petersburg, last month, on Matchday 2 of their Group F Champions League campaign.
These solid displays on the big nights have notably earned him interests from top European sides. In fact, many believe he should have made the step up from Club Brugge last summer if it were not for the Belgian side's exorbitant €30 million price tag. So that leaves one to really wonder why such a player, who has seen his popularity grow through few good exploits in Europe, will non-challantly throwaway another chance at showing off his skills at the prestigious competition.
Meanwhile, Dennis is set to be fined by the club for his ridiculous action and he is expected to issue an apology to the coach and the club's hierarchy.
Dennis has so far appeared in 10 games across all competitions for Club Brugge this season with a goal and two assists to his name. He made his Nigeria debut in the friendly encounter with Ukraine in September 2019, and added his only other cap for Nigeria in their most recent game against Lesotho.