Emmanuel Eboue intends to use his lightning speed to quell the threat of Ronaldinho at the Stade de France on Wednesday night.
Since taking over from the unfortunate, injured Lauren in January, the right back has graced the likes of the Bernabeu and Stadio Delle Alpi in Arsenal's successful Champions League run. At the first of those grounds, he managed to stifle another skilful Brazilian, Robinho. It is an experience that puts him in good stead for his tussle with the FIFA World Player of the Year on Wednesday.
"It was my dream to play against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu," said Eboue. "I wasn't scared to be up against Robinho because the boss encouraged me and had confidence in me. I took his advice about how to play in that match and did as well as I possibly could.
"[On Wednesday] I know I'm going to be up against Ronaldinho, one of the world's top players. I'm not afraid. I think I will learn a lot from the experience. The way I see it this is an opportunity to prove myself. I'm going to do everything I can to have a good match for myself and the team.
"I'm aware that I'm quick and it's something I try to profit from when I play. When we play against Barcelona I'm going to try and use my speed and my technical ability to match Ronaldinho."
In less than 18 months, Eboue has gone from playing in front of a few thousand fans in the Belgian League to 80,000 screaming supporters at the Stade de France in Europe's biggest game of the year
"It's a fantastic occasion for me," said the 22-year-old. "It's difficult to believe I've been at Arsenal [little more] than a year and now I'm playing in the Champions League Final.
"I know that Barcelona are a very good football team, a quick passing team. Their players move around a lot so we're going to have to be careful. But we're going to focus right until the very end of the match and give our best to stop their forwards getting in behind us. We're going to have to play intelligently."15 May 2006