Ruben Loftus-Cheek believes that he has been an integral part of the Chelsea team this year.
The 27-year-old midfielder has made 16 starts in the league and 19 in all competitions, which is better than his best previous Chelsea seasons for those figures.
“It feels like I've been an integral part of the team this season, starting a lot of Premier League games, Champions League games. I feel like I've contributed to what the team has done this season. I've been away and come back, been away and come back, so to have that now is good,” Ruben was quoted as saying by the official Chelsea website.
He also spoke about recovering from injury during the start of the season.
“It was kind of a freak injury really, at the start of the Newcastle game which was just before the World Cup. That took a while to recover so it couldn't have come at a better time really, if I was to get injured. Obviously you don’t want to get injured but I only ended up missing a few games after that when the boys came back from the World Cup. I've been pretty injury-free for quite a long time so I'm very pleased with that,” he said.
“There’s been a lot of hard work behind the scenes and routines I’m in that keep me available to be selected. That's the key. If you want to play well, first you've got to be available for selection,” he added.
Holders Real Madrid will play Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the second season running and Ruben believes that his side will have to be at the top of their game to the beat the Spanish giants.
“It's a test for us and we know what Madrid are like in this competition. Regardless of what they're doing in their own league, they always seem to step up in the Champions League but we held our own against them last season and we were unlucky to go out really, considering where we were late in the game,” he said.
“It was just some quality that they brought at the end of the game, and they showed that through all the stages, so it was their season last season. But definitely we are not going to roll over easily,” he added.