Ahead of tonight’s UEFA Europa League Final against Arsenal, Maurizio Sarri, César Azpilicueta and David Luiz spoke to the footballing media on Arsenal, injuries and much more.

Here’s the full transcript of what they all had to say…


On N’Golo Kanté’s injury –

“He had a little problem on Saturday. A very little problem with his knee. The problem is just the timing because we have only four days. We are trying but it is not really serious… we have problem of 3-4 days to recover. He’s 50-50 to play and will have a fitness test.”

On how bad it would be if he were to lose Kante for tonight –

“We are in trouble with the midfielders, at the moment we have only three midfielders for the three position, for us N’Golo is really important. He is the only defensive midfielder that we have.”

On being without Kante’s impact –

“I hope to recover him as I know that without N’Golo, for us, is a problem.”

On the constant speculation regarding his future –

“At the moment, we think of the final.”

On his future at Chelsea –

“You know my opinion, my opinion is the same as the last press conference. Today, I need to speak only of the final and my players need that I only speak of the final.”

On Chelsea’s season –

“We did a wonderful season, last season Chelsea wasn’t in the UCL, now it is in the UCL. We played in the final in a competition against Liverpool & Spurs.”

On issues for fans travelling to Baku –

“I don’t know what to say about the problems. You have to ask UEFA and the clubs, but I am very disappointed because we do this job for this kind of match. So we hope to see our fans here.”

On whether this is the biggest game of his life –

“This match for the media is probably the most important of my life, but maybe not for me. I don’t know. For me, there may have been a more important match in Serie B.”

On Eden Hazard –

“It is a pleasure during the match, sometimes during the week it is a problem. You know Eden is one of the most important players in the world. He can improve, he has to become the best in the world. He has the characteristics to be the best.”

On why managing Hazard is a problem –

“It is a problem because he is a talent and sometimes it is boring for him because everything is very easy.”

On the possibility of Olivier Giroud starting –

“I have to consider him because he has played very well in the Europa League and scored a lot of goals. In this competition Olivier was very important for us so I have to decide.”

On his accomplishments at Chelsea so far –

“At the beginning of the season it was very difficult to understand my players and their mentality. After a difficult January, they started to change in February. At this moment, I love them. I have 22-23 wonderful men & players.”


On Sarri’s ‘love’ comments –

Azpilicueta –

“We feel, we have been working from July hard with him. We have had ups and downs, a period where we were not happy with the results. From the downs we have become a stronger group.”

David Luiz –

“It is about working hard everyday and knowing someone. He is someone with a great passion for football. He has this feeling and we have this also.” Adds, “I think everybody believes in his idea.”

On squad harmony –

Azpilicueta –

“I think tomorrow we have a good opportunity to be happy altogether with the manager, now is not the time to speak about speculation and we want to focus on the game.”

On working with Maurizio Sarri –

Azpilicueta –

“We did it all together, the manager first as soon as the game has finished.”

On Arsenal having more pressure –

Azpilicueta –

“I don’t agree that we don’t have the pressure. We are Chelsea, everytime we start the season, we want to win every trophy.”

On whether not winning a trophy equals failure –

David Luiz –

“I think it isn’t a failure if you don’t win a trophy but it is a failure if you don’t fight for titles.”

On how Chelsea recovered from their poor form during the Winter –

David Luiz –

“I think we understood. We understood the moments and where we are and how to grow and improve. That’s how we did it.”

On Sarri and the squad’s improvements –

David Luiz –

“If you are intelligent, you can adapt and understand the moments. If you are not intelligent, then you never change.”

On importance of winning the UEFA Europa League –

David Luiz –

“It is going to remain in history on who is going to win. Like every year, people will speak about who wins these titles.”

On kick off being at 11pm local time –

David Luiz –

“You need five days to change your jet lag so for us the game is at 8pm, we only arrived recently, we are on UK time. But it is not an excuse.”

On Arsenal having a planned trophy parade and not Chelsea –

Azpilicueta –

“They have to plan for this, hopefully we can ruin it. Hopefully we can win it. Just because we didn’t plan a parade it doesn’t mean we are not hungry to win it.”

And that’s the end of the press conferences.

Terry Sazio

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