Press conference

Leno - Injury gave me motivation to play a final

August 1, 2020 was a memorable day for Arsenal fans and players alike.

But while our stars were lifting a record 14th Emirates FA Cup at Wembley, Bernd Leno was left with contrasting emotions.

On the one hand he was delighted to have played his part in our season, but he was also gutted to have missed out on the showpiece event due to injury.

And now Leno is using that disappointment as motivation to help us reach a European final this time around.

"It was very disappointing for me to have the injury at this time," he said. "You cannot expect an injury or say, 'I do not want this injury at this time'. It was probably the worst moment of the season for me.

"However, all the time the club said that they could count on me, that I am the No 1 and will be the No 1. It didn't matter what happened. Even if they expected it would have been a bigger injury, they told me to be calm and that they build around me so not to worry. That's always a good sign from the club, that they can rely on you.

"But I was happy for the team because winning a trophy is always good for the squad, for the fans as well and also for ourselves because we wanted to play in Europe. We qualified for the Europa League through the FA Cup so it was also important for my future, for our future.

"It gives me a lot of motivation to play another final, especially in Europe which will be very special. In our team, there are not too many players who played a European final or won a European trophy, so it's even more motivation for us."

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