'I don't play football to finish fourth or fifth or sixth, it's about winning trophies' – Schmeichel bullish ahead of Roma clash

By Sports Desk May 04, 2022 555

Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel is targeting winning more trophies with the Foxes ahead of the Europa Conference League semi-final second leg against Roma.

Jose Mourinho's Giallorossi earned a 1-1 draw at the King Power Stadium last week, and are the favourites to advance when they get the Foxes back to the Stadio Olimpico.

However, Schmeichel – the son of former Manchester United stopper Peter Schmeichel – says he and his team-mates are going to Rome "to win". 

Speaking at a media conference ahead of the game in Italy, the Dane told reporters: "When you're in a competition your sole focus is on that competition, which is what is happening now.

"We go to win whatever we're involved in and this is no different. It's a European trophy, every trophy is important, every competition you can win is important.

"I don't play football to finish fourth or fifth or sixth, it's about winning trophies. These are those moments fans and players will look back on when your career is over."

Schmeichel was a part of the Leicester team that sensationally won the Premier League title in the 2015-2016 campaign, before raising the FA Cup last term after beating Chelsea in the final, and the 35-year-old believes those experiences, coupled with this season's journey to the final four in the inaugural Conference League, will bode well for the team.

"I don't know how you get better quickly. I don't know if that's possible," he said. "I think it gets stored in the bank of experience.

"This is a great experience for so many players and these are the type of moments that you can look back on one day and draw back on when you need them.

"It all contributes to the mentality you build, and it's a winning mentality we want to build. Being in these situations and getting to finals where everything is on the line. When you've been there before, you can draw on those experiences."


A Lorenzo Pellegrini goal at the King Power Stadium gave Roma the lead in the first leg, before a Gianluca Mancini own goal levelled things up, and Schmeichel complimented the Serie A side's organisation.

"They're very well organised and very well drilled, I would expect nothing less from a Jose Mourinho team," he added. "They are a dangerous side, they showed they can be clinical. They played the game how they wanted to play it.

"They were probably happy to get away with the draw so they could decide it at their stadium. They're a very organised team, one that will be dangerous. To be honest our focus is more on us than the opposition."

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers also spoke to the media on Wednesday, labelling the game in the Italian capital as a "great challenge".

"You have to go and enjoy it," he said of the task ahead. "This is a great challenge for us, the challenges we've had going to PSV, going to Rennes [in previous rounds], we knew we were going to tough environments to go and play with the crowds and against good teams.

"This is another step forward for us mentally in the maturation of the team, it's a very young team playing at this level and we will gain from experiences of course, but we've shown that we can also complete the task.

"You have to embrace that."

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Last modified on Wednesday, 04 May 2022 06:30
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