'I wanted to play them' – Aubameyang 'sad' after Arsenal miss out on Champions League spot

By Sports Desk May 28, 2022

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang says he was disappointed with Arsenal's failure to qualify for the Champions League, as he had hoped to face his former club with Barcelona.

Despite enjoying an encouraging campaign under Mikel Arteta, Arsenal missed out on a top-four finish to fierce rivals Tottenham after losing two of their final three games of the Premier League season.

Their late-season collapse meant Arsenal have not finished in the Premier League's top four since Arsene Wenger's Gunners finished second to Leicester City in the 2015-16 campaign.

Aubameyang, meanwhile, departed the Emirates Stadium in January after four years at the club, scoring 13 goals in all competitions for Xavi's Barcelona as the Blaugrana secured second in LaLiga.

That return made the Gabon forward Barca's joint-top goalscorer for the campaign along with Memphis Depay, despite him making just 23 appearances since his arrival at Camp Nou.

Speaking to Sky Sports while attending the Monaco Grand Prix, the 32-year-old admitted he was sad to see his former club miss out on a place in European football's premier competition, but hopes they can impress upon their return to the Europa League. 

"Yeah, [they came] really close. I think they did a lot of improvements," Aubameyang said.

"I'm a bit sad because I wanted to play them in the Champions League. I have a lot of friends over there, but I'm wishing them all the best for next season.

"Obviously, I think it's going to be a good thing for them to get back to the Europa League as well, hopefully they can win it."

Related items

  • Barcelona considering legal action as Roma pull out of Joan Gamper Trophy match Barcelona considering legal action as Roma pull out of Joan Gamper Trophy match

    Barcelona are studying the possibility of taking legal action against Roma after the Italian club announced they will no longer take part in the Joan Gamper Trophy. 

    The two clubs were set to meet at Camp Nou on August 6, with their respective women's sides also facing off, in a fixture that acts as an annual curtain-raiser for Barca's season.

    However, just 12 days after the friendly was announced, Roma confirmed on Monday that they have withdrawn from the match.

    Roma said in a statement the decision was taken as a result of modifying their pre-season plans to best suit both their men's and women's sides.

    In a strong statement of their own released shortly thereafter, Barcelona hit out at the Europa Conference League winners, who are managed by their former coach Jose Mourinho.

    "Roma have decided to unilaterally, without reason, withdraw from the agreed contract for both parties for the Joan Gamper Trophy," the statement read.

    "The club is working on a finding a new opponent for this year's edition. In the next 24 hours the return of money already spent on tickets will begin.

    "The club wants to make it clear that the suspension of the games has been due to circumstances outside the control of FC Barcelona, the express wish of AS Roma. 

    "The club's legal department is studying possible action against the Italian club for damages caused to Barcelona and its fans due to this unexpected and unjustified decision."

    Barcelona are scheduled to face UE Olot, Inter Miami, Real Madrid, Juventus, New York Red Bulls and Manchester City ahead of the start of the 2022-23 LaLiga season.

     

  • West Ham sign Areola on permanent deal from PSG West Ham sign Areola on permanent deal from PSG

    West Ham have confirmed the permanent signing of Alphonse Areola from Paris Saint-Germain after the goalkeeper impressed during a loan spell at the London Stadium last season.

    Areola kept eight clean sheets in 18 games for West Ham during the 2021-22 campaign, including 11 appearances during the Irons' run to the Europa League semi-finals.

    David Moyes' side will play in Europe again next term, having qualified for the Europa Conference League by finishing seventh in the Premier League, and have moved to consolidate their goalkeeping options with the permanent acquisition of the 29-year-old.

    Having signed a five-year contract with an option for a further season, Areola told the club's website: "I feel good, I feel great, I'm happy to sign and happy to stay here permanently, and I can't wait to start to train and to do the job.

    "The main thing is that I felt the love of the supporters last season. Something for me that is really important is to feel that I'm loved. 

    "I know that I have to do my job and to do everything to make them happy, and obviously also the team, my team-mates, the staff and [goalkeeping coach] Xavi Valero as well. The vibe of last season was great, so I just wanted to do everything to stay here.

    "When I'm signing with a club, I want to feel that it's like my second family. Obviously, we're here every day and we are sharing lots of time together, so I have to feel comfortable with everyone and feel them comfortable with me as well, so I just feel comfortable here."

    Meanwhile, Moyes hopes the experience of Areola, who has three senior caps for France and was part of Les Blues' 2018 World Cup-winning squad, will prove invaluable for the Hammers.

    "Alphonse made a huge contribution to the club during his loan spell last season. His performances backed up why we see him as a top goalkeeper," Moyes said.

    "He brings proven quality and experience at the highest level, both on the domestic and international scene. We're delighted he's with us permanently and look forward to welcoming him back for pre-season."

    West Ham, who also signed Rennes defender Nayef Aguerd last week, kick off their 2022-23 Premier League campaign at home to defending champions Manchester City on August 7.

  • Tebas hopes Barcelona can complete Lewandowski signing Tebas hopes Barcelona can complete Lewandowski signing

    LaLiga president Javier Tebas says he hopes Barcelona are able to complete the signing of wantaway Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski.

    With just one year remaining on his contract with the Bundesliga champions, Lewandowski has repeatedly expressed his desire to join Barca, saying "something has died" within him and insisting his time in Munich is "over".

    While Bayern remain steadfast in their desire to keep the striker, who scored 50 goals and added six assists in all competitions last season, Barcelona have made no secret of their interest in the 33-year-old.

    Their attempts to sign him, however, appear to be subject to raising funds from player sales and salary cuts, with Tebas saying last month the Blaugrana must part with prized assets to complete the deal, declaring "they know what they have to do: sell assets".

    Barca president Joan Laporta reacted angrily to that suggestion, accusing Tebas of wishing to harm the club's interests, but LaLiga's chief now appears more open to the prospect of the Poland international moving to Camp Nou.

    Speaking at an event in Madrid, Tebas said: "I hope Lewandowski plays for Barcelona and has a good campaign.

     

    "I hope that the [economic] levers Laporta has activated will allow the player to make it to Barcelona, because he is a legend of Bayern Munich and European football.

    "If they execute what they approved in the assemblies, he will be able to play for Barcelona.

    "There is interest and if they execute those levers then they will be able to sign him."

    Among players in the top five European leagues, only Kylian Mbappe (60) and Karim Benzema (59) recorded more direct goal involvements than Lewandowski (56) last term, while no player to score at least 15 goals averaged fewer minutes per strike than the the Pole's 80.1 minutes.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.