The Chelsea captain spoke to the media ahead of the Blues Champions League group stage opening game against Zenit
As the reigning captain to lift the trophy, how does it feel to go back into the tournament looking to do it all again?
“Of course, it felt very special. Everybody enjoyed a lot that night in Porto but now this is a new challenge ahead of us, we start from zero in Europe
We have to fight hard to get where we want to be and starting tomorrow, it will be a difficult game. There is no room for mistakes, we have to be focused. The past was, of course, very special but that won’t give any advantage to us for this season.
“We have the experience, the desire, we are hungry to go further and we have to show that tomorrow.”
Feel like Chelsea have a stronger squad this season and how much of a boost is Romelu Lukaku?
“Every year, the club tries to improve and it is very natural. The players that are here from last season, the club always tries to improve the team every year and of course, Romelu is a great addition to the team
His experience, his desire, his ambition to help the team, of course we feel stronger as he gives us confidence coming back from a trophy that gives everyone the same confidence. A new addition always helps, adds quality to the team and it is a challenge we will face together.”
Saul is a great player, I have known him since his days in the national team and he has great experience at the highest level with Atletico Madrid.
“Of course, when he signed he had some stressful hours, arrived in a new country, first game against a good opponent who were very aggressive so it is normal, sometimes you need a little time to adapt. His response has been spot on, his desire to improve, asking questions, he wants to adapt as quickly as possible but some players need more time than others.
“He has our full support, he is a great addition and I am happy to have him in our team and I am sure he will keep growing and helping the team. He will be an important player this season.”