Cape Town – Arsenal defender Stephan Lichtsteiner is determined to win the Europa League in order to get the club back into the UEFA Champions League next season.
The Gunners finished sixth in the Premier League last term, which saw them miss out on Europe’s elite club competition, but Lichtsteiner has urged his team-mates not to take the Europa League lightly as it’s a great opportunity for silverware.
Unai Emery’s side will kick off their European campaign on Thursday when they host Ukrainian outfit Vorskla at the Emirates Stadium.
“I am hungry to get back to the Champions League,” Lichtsteiner told a press conference. “But it is a long way and we have two chances – the Europa League and the Premier League.
“We want to try as I am sure we want to play Champions League next year. To come back to the glamour games you need to win first the other games.
“Now we are in the situation that we are playing Europa League and we will try to win that so hopefully next year we can speak about the Champions League.
“One thing I learned with Juventus is to have respect for each competition. In the last four or five years with Juventus, we tried to play for all the titles, for all the trophies.
“While the Italian Cup wasn’t that important beforehand, we started to play for it with the best team possible. I think in football you have to respect all the trophies.
“Of course the Champions League is a more glamorous title, but the Europa League is a really good chance for the team, for the club and all the players to win this nice trophy.”