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Europa League a turn-off --Mikel
« on: April 09, 2013, 05:52:03 AM »
Europa League a turn-off --Mikel
After so many years of featuring in the world's most prestigious club competition - the UEFA Champions League, Nigeria's Mikel Obi has said that Europe's second grade competition is a turn-off to him. Mikel is campaigning in the Europa Cup this season with Chelsea but the Super Eagles midfielder has confessed that he does not get the kind of kick he gets playing the Champions League.

The player who won the European cup in 2012 told the London Evening Standard on Monday that his desire is to return to the champions' event as quickly as possible.

 "Yes, of course. No disrespect to the Europa League but when you saw the game on Thursday, it was not (the same). You get that buzz when you hear the song of the Champions League, it's different. I don't know (what the Europa League song is), he said when asked to compare both competitions.

"We want to be involved in the Champions League again next season. We've been used to it, those kinds of special nights, and we want to get it back.

"I think for us and the fans, Champions League football (is the No1 target). It's what this club have always been involved in and as players it's what we want to achieve.

"It's been frustrating to watch (the Champions League games) and see them (teams like Barcelona) play, while we have to play on Thursday nights. I have been here several years and never played football on Thursday nights. So, hopefully, next season we are not going to be in it.

Ironically his teammate Ashley Cole last season mocked Manchester City players who were playing the Europa League while Chelsea was in the star competition.

Mikel also wishes he could play in the first team more regularly. Rafa Benitez has been rotating his squad to help them cope with the heavy schedule and they could end up playing a club-record 70 games this season.

Mikel accepts that what Benitez is doing is for his own good but added, "It is hard, especially if you're physically fit, are in good form and the next game you don't play.

"This is the first time it's happened to me in the seven years I have been here -- I'm either playing or not playing. It's hard to take but it is something everyone has accepted since the manager came in. He said from the start he was going to rotate the team so we just have to get on with it.

"As a footballer you want to play all of the time especially when you know you're doing well and you want to be in the team. You sacrifice so many things to be in the team, to be physically fit, and when you don't get to play consecutively all the time it's kind of frustrating.

"But the most important thing is the team. We need everyone now especially towards the end of this season. We need to keep winning games and if the team keeps doing that then I'm very happy."

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Europa League a turn-off --Mikel
« on: April 09, 2013, 05:52:03 AM »


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