Arsenal ‘dreaming’ of Champions League title win, says Mikel Arteta

The Gunners are aiming for their first-ever European title

By Web Desk
February 21, 2024
"It's there, it's in our minds," Arteta says on Arsenal's dream of winning the Champions League. — Reuters

Arsenal will take on FC Porto in their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match at Estadio do Dragao on Wednesday and head coach Mikel Arteta is eager to win the title for the first time in club’s history.

The Gunners have not reached the UCL Round of 16 for seven years and their last appearance in the tournament’s quarter-final was back in 2010, where they lost to FC Barcelona.

Arsenal are in top form, they have scored 21 goals in five Premier League (PL) matches since returning from a two-week winter break in January and they are eager to carry on that form in the UCL.

The Gunners reached the UCL final in 2006 where they lost to Barcelona.

“It would be incredible to have that feeling to lift that cup in London on the 1st of June," Arteta said ahead of Porto match.

"It's there, it's in our minds, and it's a dream but it's a lot of things that you have to earn the right before that, and tomorrow we're going to have a big obstacle ahead of us."

This will be Arteta's first Champions League knockout match as a manager, but the Spaniard is confident that his side will be able to compete with Europe's finest sides.

"It's great we have earned the right to be here. It's been seven years since we've been at this table for this kind of match and 14 years since we've been able to go to the next stage," added Arteta.

"That's the challenge, that's what is ahead of us and we are really excited to face it, and to go for it with full belief.

"It's true we don't have the experience, that's the reality – 95 percent of the players have not played in this competition (before this season).

"They have never played in the last 16, I haven't (as a coach), but we have so much enthusiasm and energy as well, and willingness with a point to prove that we are good enough and want to be there.

"That's our desire and the passion with which we're going to play the game tomorrow."