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Arsenal's Wenger eager to exorcise ghost of '06

Arsenal FC manager Arsène Wenger spoke to UEFA.com about the final defeat by FC Barcelona in 2006 and his aspirations for this season's UEFA Champions League.

Arsenal's Wenger eager to exorcise ghost of '06
Arsenal's Wenger eager to exorcise ghost of '06 ©UEFA.com

As well as catching the eye with their style, Arsenal FC have recorded two impressive victories in Group F, prompting manager Arsène Wenger to build up his team's UEFA Champions League credentials.

"We have experience – everywhere we go we try and play without any inhibitions," the 63-year-old told UEFA.com. "We were a bit unlucky with draws in the last five or six years because we often came up against Barcelona, Bayern or Milan, and it was very tight. Hopefully this season we'll progress to the quarters, semi-final or even final; why not?"

European club football's most prized trophy has so far eluded Wenger during his 17-year stint at the Arsenal helm – and reflecting on the 2-1 final defeat by Barcelona in 2006 is a painstaking reminder of just how close they came. "That season we got to the final without losing a game and without conceding a goal," he recalled.

"We basically lost the European cup in the last 13 minutes playing with ten men. The biggest regret was losing having played so well with ten men. In that season, we knocked out Real Madrid, with the likes of [Zinédine] Zidane and [David] Beckham, and Juventus, before facing Barcelona in the final."

To hear more from Wenger, click on the video player above

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