Luiz wants to salvage the Premier League’s reputation
Chelsea centre-back David Luiz has said the Blues can help save the Premier League’s dwindling reputation in Europe by winning the Europa League and securing their second straight European title.
If Arsenal are knocked out of the Champions League next week (they need to come back from a 3-1 deficit in Munich), then it will be the first time since 1996 that not a single English club is in the last eight of the Champions League.
But Chelsea’s Brazilian defender believes success in the Europa League will still go some way to saving the English football’s dismal performance in European competition so far.
Best league in the world
Luiz, 25, has said he believes the Premier League is the best in the world and he wants Chelsea to prove that on the European stage.
He told the Independent: “It’s important to show the Premier League is the best league in the world. The way to do that is to win titles.
“Last season we did a great job, this season we have another opportunity. It’s in a different competition, but we are still here and we have to win this title.”
As Luiz said, last season Chelsea really did fly the flag for English football. Their remarkable win in the Champions League showed the incredible character of English teams, most notably in their semi final victory over Barcelona.
And Luiz believes Chelsea can have more success in Europe. They face Romanian side Steaua Bucharest in the last 16 of the Europa league, while their fellow English sides Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United face Inter Milan and Anzhi Makhachkala respectively.
“Big clubs need to win big titles and big games,” Luiz added. “It can be difficult when you lose because people try to put pressure on us, but we have a great family here and great players.
“We reply to pressure out on the pitch.”
But Chelsea’s preparation for their trip to the Romanian capital has been far from ideal.
Chelsea and their interim manager Rafael Benitez are never far away from the headlines, and this time the Blues’ chief executive Ron Gourlay has reportedly told Benitez a top four finish in the league is a must, with Chelsea sitting in fourth and only five points above London rivals Arsenal.
But Benitez has said he believes all the competitions Chelsea are in need of equal focus.
He was reported by the newspaper as saying: “It is clear I will concentrate on each competition and approach the next game as the most important one.
“Now we are here in the Europa League we will try to win.
“After, there will be Old Trafford [in the FA Cup] and then we will concentrate on what’s happening in the league.
“We know that all the competitions are important and if we finish in the top four everyone will be happy.”