Chelsea attacker Christian Pulisic spoke to the press ahead of his side’s first-leg Champions League semi-final clash against Real Madrid on Tuesday at Estadio Alfredo di Stefano.
The 22-year-old spoke about Eden Hazard, his team’s strategy, and the respect that he has for Real Madrid.
“The key is going to be having a really good start to the match,” Pulisic said. “Showing our energy and showing we’re ready for this competition.
“They are going to be calm and experienced, and we have to be in that same way. We are going to need to go out and have a lot of confidence. We belong here. We have really accomplished a lot to get to this point, and we need to believe in our ability.”
Asked about Real Madrid’s experience and overall dominance in this competition, Pulisic was respectful and humble, but also pointed out his own team’s confidence.
“I wouldn’t really want to play against us,” said Pulisic.
“It’s not an easy game, ever. A lot of teams would tell you that. That’s the status we want to have.
“Of course Real Madrid have their history and it’s not going to be an easy challenge. It’s about going there, respecting them, but also believing in what we stand for and what we do. It’s going to be a really good match-up between two big teams across Europe.”
Finally, Pulisic was asked about Eden Hazard leaving Chelsea, and what it’s like to face him tomorrow. Hazard is a player that many have compared Pulisic to.
“He was an incredible player at this football club,” said Pulisic.
“He was someone who I definitely looked up to. I am not comparing myself to him in any way or trying to be like him. I’m my own player and I’m doing my best for this club. It’s an honour to hear comparisons but I still have a way to go.
‘We’re moving on without him. I never played with him so I only know how it is without him. We are in a good place now. We are in the semi-final of the Champions League. We have got a lot to play for this season, and this team definitely is in a good situation.”