After being drawn against Porto in the last 16 of the Champions League, Arsenal’s Sporting Director Edu feels their history in the competition makes them a very tough prospect.
Only Barcelona and Real Madrid have qualified for the competition on more occasions than Porto’s 23 times, and they are two-time winners having lifted the silverware in 1987 and 2004. All this means that Edu is under no illusions as to the task Mikel Arteta and Arsenal players have been handed.
Speaking after the draw, he said: “We are going to play against a club that is very used to playing in the competition because they play in it every single year and they have a lot of players as well with big experience.
“We have to understand how are we going to play and respect them as much as we can. We will play our game and see if we can go through this stage. We can see how they are playing, how organized they are, and the players that they have. Porto is a club that you have to be really prepared to play against or we’ll have problems, so what we have to concentrate on is maintaining our levels and the way we are playing.”
He added: “Arsenal finished top of our group, scoring 16 goals in our six group games upon our first return to European football’s top table since 2017, and when asked about what our aims are now we’ve made it through to this stage, Edu just wants to see us maintain the level of displays that have seen us beat PSV Eindhoven, Lens, and Sevilla twice during the group stages.
“The most important thing for us is to maintain our performances and the way we are playing,” the Brazilian added. “That’s our focus, that’s where we want to be and want to keep growing, so let’s see how far we can go in the competition. We want to try and go as far as possible, but we are very much concentrating on playing well, performing well, and playing the best football we can, and then we’ll see how far we go.”