Christian Pulisic has urged his Chelsea teammates to believe in themselves against Real Madrid in their Champions League semi-final.
It will be a tough challenge for Chelsea when they take on the Spanish champions in the two-legged tie. But any game at this stage of a competition like the Champions League would fit that description. Hence, Pulisic thinks they need to focus on simply enjoying the occasion.
The first leg will take place in Madrid on Tuesday and Pulisic had a simple message for his teammates ahead of it.
“It’s key to try to enjoy the moment,” he said. “Champions League semi-finals don’t come around every day.
“I have been looking forward to this game for weeks. Lots of preparation but it is key to go and enjoy it.”
It may be an occasion to savour but it would be that more special if Chelsea could overcome the La Liga giants to reach the final. Pulisic knows that will be a demanding task, but wants his teammates to believe.
“It’ll take a lot [to beat Madrid],” he said. “We need to go out and have a lot of confidence. It’s about going out, believing in this team’s ability.
“Madrid has their history. They are a great team, it won’t be easy at all. We respect them but also believe in what we stand for and what we can do.”
Real’s squad is littered with some of the biggest names in world football but Pulisic wants Chelsea to make a statement of intent against them.
“Key is going to be a really good start to the match,” the American said. “Obviously as it goes on we will see how they play and whether it’s adjustments, or sticking to our style is the most important thing.
“I am not concerned how they line up.”
Pulisic shakes off injury-prone tag
This season has been somewhat frustrating for Pulisic in comparison to his first year in a Blues shirt. After a few injury setbacks last term, he missed the start of this campaign and has been absent with a couple of other blows since.
He has thus been restricted to just 14 starts in the Premier League, but has found more rhythm recently, starting their last five league games in a row.
Hence, while he admitted he has endured some difficulties, he denied that he is an injury-prone player.
“I feel very confident in my fitness levels at the moment,” he insisted. “I have never thought of myself as being injury prone, sure I have had some tough times in the last year.”
Another player who has had his fair share of injury problems in recent years is Eden Hazard, the man Pulisic effectively replaced at Chelsea following the Belgian’s move to Madrid.
As Hazard prepares to come up against his former employers, Pulisic reaffirmed his admiration of his predecessor.
“He was an incredible player for this club, definitely someone I have looked up to,” the 22-year-old enthused, before admitting: “I still have a ways to go [before being at his level].”
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