Ahead of Wednesday’s first leg UEFA Champions League semi-final clash at Anfield against Liverpool, Villarreal of Spain winger, Samuel Chukuweze, has made a bold claim that his team will not lose against the Reds.
Though Chukwueze admits Liverpool are widely seen as the favourites for the final ticket, the Nigerian forward insists the Yellow Submarines can also hold their own against any opposition as they have clearly demonstrated in their past games.
“We know all about Liverpool and they are expected to win, so the pressure is on them,” Chukwueze told BBC Sport Africa before Wednesday’s first leg.
“We have a squad and manager good enough to compete against any team in the world. Because of the way Liverpool plays some people have already made their own predictions but that is normal in football.
“We have a job to do and we are not going to Liverpool to lose. Why not aim for the best result over there? And that is what we hope to do.”
Only three Nigerian players have been privileged to lift the prestigious UEFA Champions League trophy and Chukwueze is hoping to join that exclusive list this year.
Finidi George and Kanu Nwankwo with Ajax in 1995 and John Mikel Obi 17 years after with Chelsea are the Nigerian trio players that have been crowned Champions of Europe.
Chukwueze will particularly hope to replicate Mikel’s feat as the former Nigeria captain won both the Champions League and Europa League during his illustrious career with Chelsea.
Chukwueze won the Europa League with Villarreal last season and he now has his eyes on the biggest prize of them all.
“I hope to write more important chapters in my career with Villarreal. I have more games to play, and personal glory is not the target.”
The Reds may be fancied to reach the final as they are six-time European champions, but Villarreal with Chukwueze have showcased a real pedigree in cup competitions under manager Unai Emery knocking out Juventus and Bayern Munich in successive rounds.
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