Christian Pulisic: “I just you know reach out to God and he gives me strength, and with that behind me, nothing can stop me really.” (Photo courtesy of Chelsea)
By Michael Lewis
As talented as Christian Pulisic is, he realizes things are not given to him on a silver platter.
That goes double or triple on such a high-profile club as Chelsea.
“I’ve had to continue to prove myself over and over again,” Pulisic said Wednesday.
Case in point:
After connecting for Chelsea’s lone goal in its 1-1 draw at Real Madrid in the first leg of its UEFA Champions League semifinal series April 27, he found himself on the bench for Wednesday’s second leg. Manager Thomas Tuchel, who directed Pulisic when both were at Borussia Dortmund, made that decision to sit him.
Pulisic admitted he was “very frustrated.”
“There’s not much else to say,” he added during an interview on the CBS Champions League postgame show on the Paramount Network. “I wanted to play from the beginning, as I always do. I’ve had to continue to prove myself over and over again. But as always I just you know reach out to God and he gives me strength, and with that behind me, nothing can stop me really.”
Real Madrid certainly had its probably trying to stop the USMNT midfielder late in the match at Stamford Bridge.
When he came on for Timo Werner in the 67th minute, the U.S. men’s national team player made the most of his opportunity by assisting on Mason Mount’s 85th-minute goal that gave the Blues a 2-0 advantage en route to that final score. Chelsea captured the series, 3-1, to reach the May 29 final in Istanbul, Turkey as it will meet fellow English Premier League rival Manchester City.
“I know what I have to do when I get on the field and I have to go on and do my bit,” Pulisic said. “Be creative and then try to try to finish the game off strong. Luckily I was able to do [it].”
During the interview, it was brought up to the 22-year-old midfielder that he attended soccer academy together with Mount.
“It’s incredible,” Pulisic said. “It’s always fun to play with him and it’s crazy that we go that far back. So, it is it is special to be on the stage and then doing this together.”