John Obi-Mikel admits the Europa League doesn't inspire him like the Champions League - and says he doesn't even know the song they play before each of the competition's games.

The midfielder was part of Chelsea's Champions League-winning squad last season that beat Bayern Munich in the final in May.

However the defence of their European crown was cut short as they were knocked out at the group stages this season, which dropped them down in the the Europa League.

They remain on course for a place in the final after taking a 3-1 advantage in their quarter-final 1st leg tie against Rubin Kazan last week.

However despite their swift progress in the Europa League, Mikel says it just doesn't inspire him like the Champions League does.

Asked if he missed playing in the Champions League, the Nigerian said: "Yes, of course. 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. I don’t know [what the Europa League song is].

‘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 No1 target]. It’s what this club have always been involved in and as players it’s what we want to achieve.'

Chelsea currently sit in 3rd place in the Premier League after their 2-1 win over Sunderland which took them above rivals Tottenham, while they travel to Russia with a view of booking their place in the semi-finals of the Europa League on Thursday.

‘It’s been frustrating to watch [the Champions League games] and see them [teams like Barcelona] play, while we have to play on Thursday nights,' Mikel continued.

‘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."

‘We want to be in the top four, top three whatever — we want to be in the Champions League next season.’

Topics:
Football
Chelsea
Premier League
John Obi Mikel