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Soccer News of Wednesday, 27 April 2022


UCL: Chukwueze reveals Villarreal's strength for Anfield visit

Villarreal winger, Samuel Chukwueze Villarreal winger, Samuel Chukwueze

Samuel Chukwueze came on in the 84th minute against Bayern Munich in a UEFA Champions League quarter-final with Villarreal down 1-0 but level on aggregate.

Chukwueze then capped a counter with a goal in the 88th minute and Villarreal were through to their second-ever UCL semi-final.

The Yellow Submarine had succeeded in knocking out European heavyweights-Juventus and Bayern in successive rounds. This follows their UEFA Europa League triumph at the end of last season.

The UEFA official website caught up with Chukwueze on the eve of their first-ever visit to Anfield and the Nigerian winger revealed why no one should look ahead to Liverpool playing the final.

“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.

“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.”

Villarreal is situated in a village of just about 50,577 people and the football club only started playing La Liga football in 1998.

Chukwueze continued, “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.

“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.”

Though Villarreal have scored just 18 goals in 10 UCL matches this season, they have conceded only 11.

“The most important thing is to win the semi-finals,” Chukwueze reflected.

“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.”

Chukwueze has made seven UCL appearances this season and scored two goals.