London [UK], June 4 (ANI): West Ham United defender Kurt Zouma always felt it was possible for the Hammers to pave the way to the final of the UEFA Europa Conference League.
Despite their struggles in the Premier League, West Ham have been a force to be reckoned with in the UECL this season. At the beginning of the season, as the West Ham players prepared for the challenging condition that lay ahead of them, the French defender always knew that his team had the potential to go all the way through.
"I definitely fully believed in this team's ability to go all the way in this competition, from the very first day," Zouma told whufc.com. "Especially after we got to the semi-finals of the Europa League last season.""I still think we could have won that competition too, or at very least got to the final, but you could feel that this time has something very special about it. Reaching this final is a great achievement, and it's one we're all proud of, and now we want to win the game for the fans."Since his arrival, West Ham has grown as a team with each passing year. With the arrival of manager David Moyes, Lucas Paqueta and the rise of the young English midfielder Declan Rice, West Ham has been able to enjoy successful consecutive European campaigns.
"I was pleased to have joined such a great team in 2020; one that had a big goal of wanting to win a final and lift a trophy. The last two seasons, since I've been here, we've done so well in Europe. I knew that we could do it too, and reaching the final is great. But now it's time to think about the game itself, enjoy the game, and win it," Zouma added.
West Ham will be eager to put on a show as the preparations have been underway for their first European final since 1976.
As West Ham players continue to train in Portugal, Zouma felt the benefits of a change of location, the opportunity to relax and bond with his teammates came at the best possible time.
"Portugal was nice. It was really good to get away for the team, to be all together and to train in a different place as well. We want to prepare for the final in the best way possible so it was really good.""I was in the waterpark with some of the boys during our down time, acting like kids! We had a lot of fun out there. I think it was needed after the tough season we had, with many games as well. We were able to get away and do something different, which came at the right time for us," Zouma concluded. (ANI)