Hector Bellerin says it was a dream come true to make his first start in the Champions League - although the gloss was taken off his experience by the result.
Bellerin had only made one previous appearance for Arsenal’s first team, against West Bromwich Albion in the Capital One Cup, and he admitted the pace of the game was hard to adjust to.
It was a dream come true for me tonight. It’s always your dream as a kid to make your debut in the Champions LeagueHector Bellerin
“They came with so much tempo at the start with their quick players up front,” Bellerin told Arsenal Player. “We tried to start the game with the same tempo as them but we couldn’t, and that’s something we need to work on for our next game.
“But it was a dream come true for me tonight. It’s always your dream as a kid to make your debut in the Champions League. On the other hand, I’m gutted and we’ve just got to work harder in the next game.
“I knew there was a chance [of starting] during the week with the injury of Mathieu [Debuchy] and I found out at training before the game that Calum [Chambers] was feeling a bit ill, so I knew there was a chance.
“I never thought at that moment that I could make my debut here, but when they told me [on Tuesday] afternoon I was really happy. It is what you are waiting for since when you’re a kid and you’re just playing in the playground. I’m just really happy to get it out of the way, to make my debut on a night like this is good for me.
“[Playing first-team football] is what I want to be doing every weekend. It’s good to get minutes with the under-21s but what you’re here for is to play games with the first team. It was a really hard game but I’m glad I got to play here and hopefully there’s many more games to come.”Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source