Pablo Fornals

Fornals: The feeling is unbelievable

Like so many of his teammates, Pablo Fornals was on cloud nine following West Ham United’s triumphant UEFA Europa League quarter-final against Olympique Lyonnais.

The No8 was once again quietly influential for the Irons on the continental stage, picking up two assists: the first a whipped corner for Craig Dawson to head home, the latter an incisive through ball for Jarrod Bowen to race onto and bury into the bottom corner.

Those goals came either side of a deflected Declan Rice strike on the stroke of half-time, but saw the Hammers enjoy a perhaps unexpected degree of comfort in their victory at Parc Olympique Lyonnais.

And speaking to the assembled press after the match, Fornals revealed that – having twice reached the quarter-finals with former club Villarreal – going one step further warranted an unparalleled mood among the boys in Claret & Blue…

I think everyone in the dressing room is the same: the feeling is unbelievable!

Personally, I’d played quite a bit in this competition but I’d never been past the quarter-finals, so I’m really, really happy.

To be fair, the squad have been doing this for the last two years.

We’ve been having a good shape and trying to run when we’ve had space, but we knew in this stadium, with the people willing to win, at 2-0, it’s never going to be an easy game in a moment in this competition.

That goal in the early part of the second half was even more important for playing the rest of the game for us.

I think the first leg was similar – they started quicker than us, that is a fact.

We didn’t concede and we were still in our shape for the whole game, and we just were growing into the game. 

I think for the last 25 minutes of the first half, there was just one team on the pitch, and after the third goal, we just killed the game and were playing as the best team.

Pablo Fornals

In this moment, everyone in the semi-finals deserves it, so I don’t really mind who we play against.

If we are all together, I think we have a big chance to play against every team. We’ve shown everyone what we are doing in the Premier League for these last two seasons.

The semi-final is two games, but we’re also still in a great position in the league.

We have to still do our job in the Premier League because everything can happen in Europe and when you see what is happening in the Europa League, you always want to play  in the Europa, so to do that, we have to still do our best in both competitions.

It was a happy moment for everyone – everyone was hugging each other, and the dressing room was like a big party!

This is how we’ve been playing: as a team and as a family, everyone running for each other. 

It doesn’t matter who is on the pitch or who is on the bench, the changes always bring something new, something fresh, and I think this is our basis.

Everyone was screaming, everyone was happy. I think it was a really, really lovely moment for everyone.

The win was for a lot of people around the training ground every day: the people who work on the grass, the people who do the kitchen jobs… 

Everyone in West Ham is doing a really great job, and this is not just about the players because we have a lot of people supporting us as well and making us be as good as we are.

I’ll be honest with you: I never dreamed of this moment, but it’s an unbelievable one!

Now, I just want to keep going.

Season Ticket renewals open for 2022/23 Premier League season