By Rob Kelly
Mikel Arteta will revive some happy memories when he returns to the San Siro on Wednesday night.
In February 2001 the Spanish midfielder made his Champions League debut at the world-famous stadium while playing for Paris St Germain, just days after signing from Barcelona.
It was an experience he will never forget, and Arteta cannot wait to face AC Milan once more in their own backyard.
“I am really looking forward to it, we know it is a really tough draw but at the same time it is the type of game you want to play at the highest level,” he told Arsenal Player.
“My first game in the Champions League was at the San Siro, so I have really good memories of it. I had been playing for Barcelona reserves 10 days before and suddenly I was playing there, so it was a bit of a shock but it was a really good game.
“It is a terrific stadium, and playing the first leg in Italy will be really important so hopefully we will go there with plenty of confidence.”
Arteta also remembers Arsenal’s historic 2-0 win at the San Siro in 2008, when they became the first English club to beat AC Milan on their own turf.
“It was a terrific match. I remember the second leg well, and hopefully we can repeat something like that,” he said.
“It won’t be easy and they have some really good players that we need to be careful of, but I think we are capable of going through.”
Watch the full interview with Mikel on Arsenal Player.