By Lloyd Webb
Alex Iwobi says he was "buzzing" when he found out he had been selected for Arsenal's Champions League last-16 second leg match against Barcelona.
The 19-year-old produced an encouraging performance on his first start in the competition, but could not prevent Arsène Wenger's side from a 3-1 defeat at the Nou Camp.
The result, coupled with a 2-0 defeat at Emirates Stadium in the first leg, ended the Gunners' Champions League hopes for another season, but Iwobi is still taking positives from the experience.
just wanted to go and prove to the world what I would do. I wanted to see if I could match up to the best in the world
"It's crazy, playing against the best players in the world,” he told Arsenal Player. "It's a young man's dream. Especially at the age of 19, I never thought I would be here playing against the likes of Messi, Neymar and Suarez. I'm just happy to be here.
"I didn't know how to feel, I was buzzing, I just wanted to go and prove to the world what I would do. I wanted to see if I could match up to the best in the world. I was buzzing when I saw the starting line up, I couldn't wait to touch the pitch.
"I never thought I would get this far. Honestly I thought I was going to go on loan at the start of the season, but the manager has shown faith in me and I'm trying to repay that faith and prove him right every time I play.
“I am pleased with how I did, but it's a team game. I just wish that the team won the game and got through. Nonetheless, I am happy with my performance. In the dressing room we are a bit disappointed but not too down because we thought we did very well, we were just unlucky at the end.
“If we took our chances you'd probably say we could have won but we were playing against the best in the world. I think we did very well in the circumstances, we were just unlucky with the scoreline.”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