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Sterling most valuable U21 - study

Liverpool
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By ESPN Staff

'No one will remember us if we lose' - Riquelme

Juan Roman Riquelme insists Villarreal's Champions League achievements this season will only be remembered if they overturn Arsenal's aggregate lead in the second leg of their semi-final tonight.

The Spanish outfit have gone on a stunning run to the last four but Argentinian playmaker Riquelme knows the 'Yellow Submarine' will sink into obscurity unless they make the Paris final next month.

'If we don't reach the Champions League final no one will remember us,' Riquelme said.

'We are well aware that in the future only the winners are remembered and we certainly don't want to be forgotten.'

Riquelme, who has played a key part in his club's Champions League campaign thus far, added: 'The further you go in this competition the more difficult and beautiful it becomes.

'I don't feel pressure, I am just happy to be able to play just an important game.

'We know that if we play a good game we have a chance of going to the final.'

Villarreal have the added pressure of knowing that they must win the competition this season to take part in next year's Champions League - they are currently 10th in the Primera Liga standings, 13 points behind fourth-placed Osasuna with four games remaining.

'We want to beat Arsenal in order to continue to give our fans more joy in Europe,' said Riquelme.

Villarreal have beaten the likes of Lille, Benfica, Rangers and Inter Milan but the Champions League debutants know they face their biggest battle against the Gunners.

Arsenal, who knocked out Real Madrid and Juventus to reach the last four, have kept a clean sheet in their last nine European games.

'We know we face a tough task,' Riquelme said. 'Arsenal will play a very similar game to the one they played at Highbury.

'They will defend with nine players for 90 minutes and they will leave Thierry Henry up front ready to run to our area.

'But we are confident of our tactics, after all, we have come this far and we have 90 minutes to find space and make them suffer.'

Villarreal will use the support of their home fans at El Madrigal in order to drive them forward.

'We want to get our fans behind us from the first minute,' admitted the South American.

'I have confidence in my team regardless of which team we are facing.'