Arsenal midfielder Gedion Zelalem has revealed that he is flattered by the opportunity to play in the Champions League, especially against Wesley Sneijder, regarded to be one among greats in the game.
Sneijder scored the only goal for Galatasary in the Gunners' 4-1 thrashing at Istanbul, an apt reply after what was an insipid performance against Stoke City at the Britannia last weekend. The Dutchman, despite his age, has not lost touch and has been linked with a move to join Louis van Gaal at Manchester United.
Arsene Wenger selected a vastly young team for the game, leaving the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud in London while his bench had an average age of less than 20, with a handful of first team appearances among them.
It was a game that the team needed to uplift their souls after a sordid performance thus far in the league, accumulating only 23 points and find themselves five points adrift of fourth place challengers United, who did a smash and grab job on them only a couple of weeks ago.
The Gunners went about their business suavely with Aaron Ramsey topping off the performance with the strike of a lifetime from 30 yards, a goal destined to carve it's name in history books.
Zelalem was among the lucky few to travel to Istanbul and was overwhelmed by the occasion which threw a variety of surprises, not least being faced by one of his footballing idols.
"He's won the Champions League, so to be able to play against him was very good. He's a top player and hopefully I can win the Champions League as well one day," Zelalem told the official Arsenal website.
"I can learn from the way he switches the ball, his quick feet and things like that.
"All your life you work for this moment, so to be able to play was very good. You dream of that as a boy - coming on in the Champions League. I was watching it last year and now I'm playing in it, so it's great.
"Everyone knows that it's a special competition and everyone wants to win it. Being able to play in it is very good for me and hopefully I can do that in the future," he added.