John Obi Mikel bemoans Europa League involvement

Mikel bemoans Europa League involvement
© PA Photos
John Obi Mikel concedes that he is eager for Chelsea to return to the Champions League next season.

Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has expressed his desperation for the club to return to Champions League football last season.

The Nigerian international has featured in the latter stages of the competition since he joined the Blues in the summer of 2006.

However, they failed to get out of the group stages this time around and as a result have spent 2013 competing in the Europa League.

Despite the fact that his team have reached the quarter-finals of the competition, 25-year-old Mikel has admitted that he has missed playing in Europe's top tournament.

"No disrespect to the Europa League but when you saw the game on Thursday, it was not [the same]. You get that buzz when you hear the song of the Champions League, it's different," he is quoted as saying by the London Evening Standard. "We want to be involved in the Champions League again next season. We've been used to it, those kind of special nights, and we want to get it back.

"I think for us and the fans, Champions League football [is the number one target]. It's what this club have always been involved in and as players it's what we want to achieve.

"It's been frustrating to watch [the Champions League games], while we have to play on Thursday nights. I have been here several years and never played football on Thursday nights. So, hopefully, next season we are not going to be in it."

Chelsea won the opening leg of their last eight match against Rubin Kazan 3-1 on Thursday night.

John Terry celebrates scoring the opener for Chelsea
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