Christian Pulisic fires warning to Chelsea’s Champions League rivals: ‘I wouldn’t want to play us!’


Christian Pulisic has fired a warning to Chelsea’s Champions League rivals by insisting: ‘I wouldn’t want to play us in this competition’. Chelsea have been drawn to face Champions League holders and 14-time winners Real Madrid in the quarter-finals following their last-16 victory over Borussia Dortmund .

The Blues beat Real Madrid on their way to winning the Champions League in 2021 but lost to Carlo Ancelotti’s side in last season’s competition. Chelsea’s run to the quarter-finals was far from guaranteed as Graham Potter’s side have struggled domestically, slipping to an underwhelming mid-table position in the Premier League.

But Pulisic feels the tide is starting to turn at Stamford Bridge following three consecutive wins and says ‘all of a sudden’ Chelsea are a ‘dangerous’ opponent. If Chelsea get past Real Madrid, they will face Premier League champions Manchester City or Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich for a place in the Champions League final.

‘I wouldn’t want to play us in the Champions League, I’ll say that much,’ Pulisic told ESPN . ‘I think we were in a similar situation as far as the last time we won the Champions League. Half-way through the year, struggling in the league and a lot of people counting out us. Look what happened then…

‘Has it been easy in recent weeks? No, but I’m proud of the way the team has overcome it and the last week that we’ve had, getting three wins in a row. ‘I’m feeling a lot of confidence now and it’s crazy how fast things can change in football, it’s a snap of a finger. ‘All of a sudden you start to feel that confidence – especially in a team with a lot of new players – you start to feel each other out more. The team all of a sudden looks like a dangerous team to play against.

‘Is it going to be easy? No. Are we going to have big fights, tough battles and big teams that we’re going to play against to get there? 100% – but we’re ready for it and we’re excited by the challenge.’

Potter’s Chelsea return to action on Saturday with a Premier League clash against relegation-battlers Everton at Stamford Bridge. Elsewhere in the Champions League, the champions of England will meet the champions of Germany as Manchester City face Pep Guardiola’s former club Bayern Munich.

Napoli, who have stormed 18 points clear in Serie A, take on Italian rivals AC Milan while Benfica meet Inter Milan. The Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey, hosts the 2023 Champions League final on June 10.

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