Chelsea are as hungry as Arsenal – Azpilicueta

Cesar Azpilicueta says Chelsea are just as motivated for the Europa League final as Wednesday’s opponents Arsenal despite having already qualified for next season’s Champions League.

The Blues ensured their place in Europe’s showpiece competition by finishing third in the Premier League, but the Gunners only placed fifth so must win the final in Baku, Azerbaijan, to qualify.

The Spanish defender said: “It is all about winning trophies. We have a big chance to keep winning and it is what we are all hungry for.

“We wanted to qualify for the Champions League in the league. The other target was to win this trophy. We started in September and we always had the final on our mind. It is a big game and we are hungry.

“It is a big opportunity to keep winning trophies. We won in 2013 and we know how big it is, and hopefully we can repeat it.”

Azpilicueta said captaining the side will be a career highlight.

“It is something very special to lead this team and this club,” he said. “As a boy you dream about it. To have these amazing people around me is very special.

“I don’t like to think about what will happen. I am focused on winning the game and trying to enjoy it.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says Blues midfielder N’Golo Kante is “50-50” for the final after picking up a knee injury in training. 

Chelsea: Cesar Azpilicueta