By Chris Harris
AC Milan might have been the toughest possible draw for Arsenal in the Champions League but Mikel Arteta cannot wait to face them.
Arsène Wenger's side were paired with the seven-times winners at Friday's draw for the last 16 and the manager immediately described the two-legged encounter in February and March as a "50:50" tie.
Arteta knows Arsenal could have had an easier task - on paper at least - but he is relishing the chance to take on one of European football's most famous clubs.
"I smiled when the draw was made because I think it's a really good game to play," Arteta told Arsenal Player.
"It makes it more exciting to play a team like Milan. Any team at this stage of the Champions League is going to be tough, even if people think you are favourites. I like playing against teams like this and we've got a good chance, so let's play. All the boys feel the same. If we have to play them, so be it, and let's try to win.
"This is exactly why I came to Arsenal. In your career you want to have moments like this. You don't face them every day so we have to take this special opportunity."
Watch the full interview with Mikel on Arsenal Player.Copyright 2013 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 21 Dec 2011