Chelsea's David Luiz: Europa League is as good as Champions League
Chelsea's David Luiz says the club will be treating the Europa League the same as the Champions League and will be targeting the trophy.
The Blues crashed out of the Champions League last night despite a 6-1 win over FC Nordsjaelland and will now take their place in the lower ranked Europa League.
But David Luiz insists they will treat it the same way: "There are great teams in the Europa League. Chelsea has never won this title so we will try to win it. I won the Champions League last season but came out of it this season, this is football.
"The Europa League is a glamorous competition for me as I have not won it. To me it’s like the Champions League.
"I will not be crying for three or four days, the truth is we are out. I think Chelsea lost the group against Juventus in the first game. it was key game. We were two nil up but drew 2-2.
"It was a bad game and killed the group for us. But now we need to look forward. The players are not in shock at us going out, there are big clubs in Champions League. It is not a small competition - Juventus and Shakhtar are big clubs.
"Manchester City are also out of the tournament as well, this is the best competition in the world, so you need to work hard every game to qualify. So when you have some games like the first game, it’s difficult.”
Luiz, 25, is positive that Chelsea can return to the top table of European football.
"Our objective is to get back into the Champions League for next season. The players have this in their head.
"But you have to work hard because other teams know that we are a big team. On Saturday, we will have a difficult game against Sunderland but we have to win.”
David Luiz is one of our 30 nominees for the 2012 Samba Gold Trophy, which recognises the best performing Brazilian in Europe this season.