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Michail Antonio on West Ham's Conference League dream and his top scorer ambition

Forward Michail Antonio is eyeing both personal and collective glory as West Ham prepare for the UEFA Europa Conference League final.

Michail Antonio is eyeing Conference League glory with West Ham
Michail Antonio is eyeing Conference League glory with West Ham UEFA via Getty Images

Michail Antonio has been enjoying himself in this season's UEFA Europa Conference League. The West Ham forward has scored six goals in eight matches in the competition to help fire his side to a final meeting with Fiorentina in Prague on 7 June.

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The 33-year-old talked UEFA.com through the Hammers' campaign so far, what they have learned from last season's Europa League semi-final heartbreak and his dream to make history for the London club.

On West Ham's final vs Fiorentina

It's massive. We've not been in a [European] final for 47 years and this is probably the biggest thing I have been involved with in my life. Most people want to retire with accolades and this is a big opportunity for me to do so. But this is also for everyone, not just me.

What we have achieved has not quite hit home yet. Everyone is still buzzing, but we have not been talking about the game much. Once we get closer and we fly out there it will probably hit home.

Antonio: 'This is massive for me'

 On lessons from last year

Last year we made a couple of mistakes which saw us lose in the semi-final [to Frankfurt in the Europa League]. We should probably have performed better in the home leg. But this season we have learned from the errors and decided it is not going to happen again. We managed the AZ Alkmaar semi-final well and were professional. We always believed that we had the ability to get to the final and to win it.

On his chances of finishing as top scorer

As a striker you are always meant to be scoring goals. But I just want to be a part of it and contribute in any way I can, whether that is through goals or assists. Scoring is the main mission for me, though, and I am only one behind the leaders [Fiorentina's Arthur Cabral and Basel's Zeki Amdouni] so I'm going for that top scorer record.

I can't compare much to scoring a goal. Hitting the back of the net and hearing the roar from the fans, the feeling is just amazing. It's up there with one of the best in the world.

All Antonio's Conference League goals

On dealing with pressure

I felt pressure when I knew how close I was to becoming West Ham's all-time top scorer in the Premier League. Now I am just buzzing that I have achieved it, but my goal is to do better every year and make it more difficult for the next person to catch me.

Playing in semi-finals or relegation scraps, these are the times I come alive, because I'm used to having that pressure. Coming from non-league I always had to go on trials, and those are the sort of experiences that saw me adapt to dealing with pressure.

West Ham's road to the final: Every goal

On West Ham's squad unity

We've got players like Lucas Paquetá, who hardly speaks any English but tries so hard, has got a great character and is really funny. Then we have a mixture from Kurt Zouma to Declan Rice, who is a great captain. We all bond together and we all believe in each other, and you can probably see we're like a family.

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