Mikel Arteta admits Champions League ‘dream’ possible for Arsenal

Arsenal news- Manager Mikel Arteta is optimistic lack of experience won’t deter Arsenal targeting Champions League success; reveals European glory well within reach for the Gunners

Mikel Arteta - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
Mikel Arteta - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Premier League heavyweights Arsenal are in sensational form domestically and are aiming to emulate the same in Europe as well as they target Champions League triumph, alongside challenging the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City for the league title.

Ahead of Arsenal’s round of 16 tie against Porto on Wednesday, manager Mikel Arteta conceded that their ambition to lift the trophy in June at Wembley is a realistic possibility and expressed full belief in his young squad.

The Spanish tactician outlined the Gunners’ grand vision, emphasizing the importance of their return to top-tier European competition after a seven-year absence. Arsenal have failed to go past the last 16 since 2010, and that year it was Porto who they beat to reach the quarter-finals.

Champions League Ambition Unveiled

Speaking during the press conference, as reported by Daily Mirror, Arteta said:

"We have earned the right to be here. It’s been seven years since we’ve been at the top table for these kind of matches and 14 years since we were able to go to the next stage."

"That’s the challenge. We know what is ahead of us but we are very excited to face it and to go for it with full believe, that’s for sure. Someone called Messi was another obstacle as well and Bayern Munich that we faced. This competition is what it is. Individual quality is extremely important."

"It comes down to details and you need your players at your best when the occasion arises. Tomorrow for sure we’ll need that."

Challenges and Belief

He acknowledged their lack of experience, but, he also stated the confidence he has in his squad and their capability to make a mark in Europe.

"We don’t have the experience that’s the reality. 95 percent of these players haven’t played this competition, they haven’t played the last 16, I haven’t managed in this stage,"

continued the 41-year-old

"But they have so much energy and enthusiasm to play well and that’s our desire and how we’re going to play the game. I’m learning everyday. When you don’t have the experience, you try to use other people’s experiences. You have to make sure you feel your gut as well, which is really important."

"Make sure you prepare well and work hard. Make sure you do all the bits that you need to do to make the right calls and make the right decisions. It is nothing different to any other big match that we play in our domestic competitions."

Shifting Focus on the Present and Ultimate Glory

The Gunners boss reiterated that winning the Champions League is a dream for the elites and the clash against Porto is the ideal opportunity for Arsenal to showcase their credentials on the continental stage.

"It is one of the biggest things in football. I don’t know if it is the best. But it should be incredible to have that feeling to lift that cup, in London – the 1st of June. It is there. It is in our minds."

"It is a dream but there are a lot of things you have to earn the right to do before that and tomorrow we have a big obstacle ahead of us. We are really looking forward to it."

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