Super Eagles striker, Victor Boniface, has enjoyed special treatment from two football stars in Europe as he continues in his brilliant first season at Bayer Leverkusen.
Last Saturday, Leverkusen secured a 3-0 victory courtesy of goals from Jeremie Frimpong, Alejandro Grimaldo, and an own goal, steering Xabi Alonso’s side to success.
After the match, a viral photo showed the former Swiss international helping Boniface tie his shoelaces, a gesture Boniface acknowledged in a post on his Instagram feed.
Despite not scoring, the Super Eagles attacker praised the team’s victory, acknowledging its importance as they top the Bundesliga table with 34 points, two points ahead of the league giant, Bayern Munich.
“Important win. Thanks, Granit Xhaka for always helping”, Boniface wrote.
Xhaka has previously praised Boniface highlighting his importance to the team.
“Boniface is a down-to-earth boy who is hungry for goals and successes”, he told Bild Sports.
“It’s only good for the team if you have someone up front who wants to score goals and celebrate success. That’s how you get better, how you make the team better, how you make yourself better. We’re glad we have someone like that with us”.
With 229 appearances for the Gunners, 31-year-old Xhaka moved to Leverkusen in a €25 million deal around the same time Boniface joined the German club. As new teammates, their bond continues to grow within the team.
Real Madrid defender, Antonio Rudiger, then gifted the Nigerian forward a jersey. The German sent a signed Real Madrid jersey to the Bayer Leverkusen fan favourite to deepen their nascent friendship.
The gesture from the former Chelsea defender is the latest in what has become an interesting relationship between the pair.
Rudiger had earlier paid homage to Boniface after he copied his now-famous goal celebration during Germany’s clash against Mexico in an international friendly.
It was a moment that transcended the competitive nature of sports and emphasised the spirit of unity and camaraderie that football can foster.
Over four weeks after that beautiful exchange between them, the 30-year-old has now taken another step to strengthen their relationship by sending Boniface a jersey.
Boniface took to his page to reveal the gift, a signed Real Madrid jersey from the LALIGA star.
“To my lil brother, Victor Boniface”, Rudiger wrote on the kit. “All the best in the future, more hustle, more goals”, he added.
Boniface followed the instruction for more goals to the letter as he showcased his goalscoring prowess once again by finding the back of the net for Leverkusen in the match against BK Hacken on Thursday taking his tally to four goals in the Europa League.
The 22-year-old has had a brilliant start to life at Bayer Leverkusen after his €20 million move from Royale Union Saint-Gilloise in the summer with his contributions instrumental as the German side remains one of the only three unbeaten clubs in Europe at this stage of the season.
In 18 appearances across all competitions, Boniface has scored 12 goals and provided six assists putting him among the highest goal contributors in Europe and he is only bettered by Bayern Munich’s Harry Kane, Manchester City’s Erling Haaland and VfB Stuttgart’s Serhou Guirassy.
Boniface also won the Bundesliga Rookie of the Month award three times in a row claiming the coveted prize in August, September, and October.
It is, therefore, not surprising that the Nigeria international is also enjoying the attention of top European clubs as well as players, according to Fabrizio Romano, Boniface is the most sought-after striker in Europe.
“Top clubs from different countries are keeping a close eye on Victor Boniface, doing fantastic at Leverkusen”, the transfer expert wrote on his official X account.
In England, he is said to be courted by a host of Premier League clubs but Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, and Newcastle are the suitors who are mainly interested in securing Boniface’s services.
In Spain, both of the biggest La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona have shown interest in the talented Nigerian striker. Real Madrid are in the process of building another generation of galacticos and while a lot of other positions have been filled for years to come, the centre-forward position remains void of a commanding man.
In Italy, Serie A powerhouses Juventus, AC Milan, Napoli, and Lazio are keeping an eye on Boniface.
According to German newspaper, BILD, the Bianconeri want Boniface to replace Dusan Vlahovic, who has been linked with a move away from the club.
In Germany, Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, along with Dortmund and Union Berlin, have expressed their interest in signing Boniface. Bayern are notorious for poaching top talents from other German clubs while Dortmund wanted to sign Boniface before his Leverkusen move but due to budgeting reasons, they had to let him go but the money gotten from Jude Bellingham’s sale to Real Madrid has presented a chance again. Union Berlin are keen to sign the talent as they aim to remain among Europe’s elite following a taste this season.
Lastly, in France, Paris Saint-Germain is among the clubs monitoring Boniface’s performances and just like a host of other clubs on this list, they are wary of the loss of their starman Mbappe and see the Nigerian forward as a valuable replacement.
Boniface’s impressive performances on the pitch have made him a highly sought-after player in the European football landscape. As the season progresses, it will be interesting to see which club puts themselves at the front of the race for his signature.