Samuel Chukwueze insists Villarreal can pull off another remarkable Champions League upset when they travel to Anfield for the first leg of their semi-final with Liverpool on Wednesday night.
Unai Emery’s well drilled side have already knocked out two former champions Juventus and Bayern Munich from the competition this season.
The Yellow Submarine travel to Merseyside with unbridled optimism about their chances of gleaning a positive result, and their La Liga fortunes have also improved with back-to-back wins over Getafe and Valencia.
“What makes this Villarreal team so special is that they take themselves as a family, they look after each other, and they work for each other on the field,”Chukwueze, who scored in the 1-1 draw against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena told uefa.com.
” They don’t complain: ‘Oh, this person’s not doing his job’ or anything. They work together. That’s what it means. That’s what’s keeping us together, the work, the contact, everything.”
Manager Emery has earned plaudits for transforming the modest club from Castellon to a strong force in Europe.
Villarreal won the UEFA Europa League last season and playing in the final of the Champions League this season would be a remarkable achievement for the club.
Chukwueze reflected on the importance of the former Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal gaffer to their success.
“The most important thing is the coach. He’s so fantastic. He knows how to read the game and everything. Reaching the semi-finals with this coach, I think, is amazing,”he added.
“It’s a dream come true for him also, and for the club. Playing Liverpool – they are one of the favourites, also, but we’re going to push, to show them that this is why we’re in the semi-finals.”
Chukwueze and his teammates celebrated for long hours after winning the Europa League last season and the Nigeria international is already looking forward a bigger celebration should they made it to the final.
“The most important thing is to win the semi-finals. If we win the semi, maybe the celebration will be [bigger than the celebration after the UEFA Europa League win].
” [It’s] my first Champions League and my first semi-finals. Reaching the final would be amazing. It would [make this] one of the best seasons of my life.”
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