"That emotion when you lift the trophy is something special," says Pedro Rodríguez.
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Spanish playmaker Pedro Rodríguez played a pivotal part in Chelsea's charge to the UEFA Europa League final, including his precious away goal in Frankfurt to set the Blues up for a dramatic semi-final second-leg victory.
The three-time UEFA Champions League winner wants to win his first UEFA Europa League at the end of a campaign in which he has been directly involved in eight of his side's goals, scoring four and assisting four more. He spoke to UEFA.com.
On reaching the final ...
Finals are what stick in your memory most. I remember some very good finals, such as Liverpool versus Milan or the final between Barça and Arsenal, which was very emotional for the Barcelona fans. That emotion when you lift the trophy is something special – you have to experience it to know what it feels like because you cannot put it into words.
You can get bored of many things, but never winning. You always want to win as many trophies and titles as possible so that when you retire, you can look back and see what you were able to achieve. European competition always drives you on a little more.
On Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi ...
I remember Ruben [Loftus-Cheek]'s hat-trick against BATE [on matchday three]. It was a great home match – we scored a lot of goals. It was the best way to continue in the tournament. It put us in a great position in the group and allowed us to kick on from there.
[Callum Hudson-Odoi is] such a young player with so much expectation surrounding him and such a bright future. We know how much potential Callum has. I'm very happy he has had such a good season. It's a shame about his injury for the final because I think he would have played very well for us.
On Eden Hazard's shoot-out decider against Frankfurt ...
To be honest, when we saw that Kepa [Arrizabalaga] had saved the fifth spot kick and Eden was taking our next one, we were pretty calm. He's a penalty specialist. You just knew he was going to score, with his experience and his quality. Eden is one of the best players in the world. I don't think there's any player at the same level as Lionel Messi at the moment, but we know the potential that Hazard has.
On 'Sarriball' and facing Arsenal ...
We've had a great Europa League season. Maurizio [Sarri]'s strategy for us – the idea of attacking and pressing high – is very good. We create a lot of chances. We get a lot of players into the opposition box.
The match against Arsenal is going to be very good to watch and very open, as they are a team that we know like to play football. They defend from the front, like we do, so I think it will be a final that's very easy on the eye.