Juan Mata: 'Chelsea deserve Champions League football'

Juan Mata and Eden Hazard celebrate a Chelsea goal on December 5, 2012
© AP Photos
Juan Mata says that Chelsea deserve to be playing in the Champions League but is targeting success in the Europa League.

Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata has insisted that his side deserve a place in the Champions League next season ahead of their Europa League semi-final with Basel on Thursday.

The Blues, who lifted their first ever Champions League crown last year, face a fight to qualify for Europe's elite competition, with Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur providing a race for the two qualifying spots in the Premier League.

While he admits that the Londoners need to be playing at the top level, Mata believes that winning the Europa League would do Chelsea the world of good.

"Our aims have to be winning this trophy and obviously being in the Champions League next season," Mata added. "Chelsea is a club which deserves to be in the Champions League every season. We can do it. If we play like we've been playing, all together, I think we can do both.

"Every time I watch a game on the TV from the Champions League I think it's a shame. But, on the other hand, I'd rather be positive and think we have the chance to win another trophy, as we did last season. Now we have another chance.

"For the team and for the club it's very important to have the chance to be in another European final. After winning the Champions League last season we have the chance to be in another final, trying to win another trophy, which will be new for the club. It means a lot for the club, for the supporters, for the players."

Chelsea lead Basel 2-1 heading into the return leg of the Europa League semi-final at Stamford Bridge on Thursday.

Chelsea's Juan Mata celebrates scoring the opener in the FA Cup 4th round replay against Brentford on February 17, 2013
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