Christian Pulisic says he “loves the big games” as he targets a spot in Chelsea’s starting lineup for the Champions League final on Saturday against Manchester City.
Pulisic is one of plenty of players vying for a coveted starting spot in the showpiece match in Porto against the Premier League an Carabao Cup winners, facing competition from the likes of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi for a place in the front three.
It has been an up and down season for the USMNT international, who was instrumental in Chelsea’s fine end to last season after lockdown but has been hit by injury issues and a loss of form in 2020/21.
Thomas Tuchel’s arrival to replace Frank Lampard in January was seen as a big moment for Pulisic as it was the head coach who handed him his senior debut when they worked together at Borussia Dortmund.
But it hasn’t been quite smooth sailing for the 22-year-old this season but he has started to hit some form at the right time, netting the crucial away goal against Real Madrid in the semi final first leg victory and then assisting Mason Mount’s goal in the second leg victory at Stamford Bridge.
Speaking to CBS Sports, Pulisic believes he has come a long way since he was made the big summer signing for Chelsea in 2019 and is now targeting his first Champions League crown.
“I’ve learned a lot, I’ve come very far,” he said.
“There have been some real ups, also some times where I had some really difficult moments. I’m happy with my form now. I’m happy with the way I’m feeling. I’m confident.
“When you come to a big club like Chelsea there’s going to be competition and that really just makes us better. I have to earn my place always.
“I have to play hard and it has helped me improve a lot. We have a lot of incredible talent. I think I’m a very creative player and someone who can offer something very different with dribbling, those types of movements. I always look to attack.
“I definitely love the big games. That’s why we play football. I don’t need any motivation for these games. I’m ready to play, I want to play.”
Source by Football London