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HomePremier LeagueRice hopes West Ham can create history ahead of Conference League final

Rice hopes West Ham can create history ahead of Conference League final

Declan Rice hopes West Ham can create history as the club prepare to face Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final.

West Ham take on the Italian side in Prague on Wednesday evening as the Hammers prepare for a first European final in 47 years.

The clash represents a chance for West Ham to win a first major trophy since FA Cup success in 1980 and the magnitude of the occasion is not lost on club captain Rice.


“Every time I put on the shirt, I know how big it is,” Rice said to the club’s official website.

“This will be the biggest match that the club has had in so long, so it’s going to be an honour to be part of and hopefully we can create some history on the night for the fans to cheer about.

“I think the feeling of the defeat we had last year against Eintracht Frankfurt, and the way the two legs went – conceding in the first minute in the first game at home, coming back, but then them scoring again, then we went to their place and had a man sent off. It was just how it went for the whole tie – it lives with you.

“This year, going into the semi-final, we just looked at it and thought, ‘What an opportunity.’ And to go out there and do it – we’ve already created history by getting to the final, but now there’s a chance to go and create a legacy where every single player, the manager, everyone involved will be remembered forever.

“I think it’s a unique opportunity that we’ve got, that we really want to take.”

West Ham have had a comfortable passage to the final and impressed to beat AZ Alkmaar in the last four.

David Moyes’ team now take on a Fiorentina team who are preparing for their second final of the season after reaching the Coppa Italia decider earlier in the campaign. Rice admits that victory on Wednesday evening would represent his ‘biggest achievement’ in football so far.

“Now it’s a final, anything can happen,” Rice said.

“It’s a game of football and we’ll do everything we can to do the job.

“I think it would be my biggest achievement I’ve had in football so far. 100 per cent. I think that would be for a lot of us. I think to win a trophy like this, a European trophy, with West Ham, I think it puts every player at a higher status within the Club in terms of with the fans, how you’ll be remembered.

“I think it would just mean everything, to be honest. Just to lift that trophy, especially to be with the lads as well – our group of boys are such good people, and to see them laughing and smiling and singing after the semi-final game.

“It’s definitely got the fire in our belly to have those kinds of nights again, and we’ve got the chance to do that. There are loads of things that add to it, but for me it’s just about wanting to see the lads smiling again and wanting to lift the trophy, wanting to see our families after with the trophy, just everything that we’ve got 90 minutes to do.

“It’s in our hands, so we’re going to push to do that.”

Read – Five Premier League footballers the ‘streets won’t forget’

Read Also – Iconic Performances: Zlatan stuns England and turns critics into believers

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