Declan Rice believes West Ham is capable of beating anyone left in the Europa League following their dramatic victory over Sevilla on Thursday night.
The Hammers qualified for the quarter-finals of the competition with a 2-0 win over the Spanish side at the London Stadium.
Tomas Soucek headed them into the lead in the first half to cancel out Munir El Haddadi’s goal from the first leg before Andriy Yarmolenko provided the winner in extra-time to send them through 2-1 on aggregate.
The victory provided West Ham with a major scalp given Sevilla has won the Europa League four times in the past eight seasons and had not lost a European tie after taking a first-leg lead since 1981.
Rice is confident they have what it takes to beat whoever awaits them in the next round, with Barcelona, Lyon, RB Leipzig, Rangers, Eintracht Frankfurt, Atalanta, and Braga the other quarter-finalists.
“I said this after the FA Cup win against Leeds, I’ll take anyone and I think the lads will take anyone as well,” Rice told BT Sport. “There’s no one to fear. Sevilla were probably the favorites.
When the draw came out, people thought we had the hardest draw and we were going to get knocked out… and we’ve knocked them out!
“So, look, we can go away anywhere and get a result, and teams coming here know they’re in for a game when they step into this stadium with our fans, so I’m ready to take anyone.”
Pundit Joe Cole then suggested Barcelona as a potential tie by saying:
“I and the guys fancy the Nou Camp, we’ve heard they do some nice paella down there!” Rice laughed and replied: “You’ve had some big nights there as well geez! Yeah, it would be special to go there and face Barcelona.
“As I said, this is what this club deserves. We’ve worked hard for this, from a relegation battle when Moyes first came in to get in Europe last year.
Not having the biggest of squads this season, a lot of question marks over how far we’re going to go and what we’re going to do, yet we’re still up there in the Premier League and into the quarter-finals. So there’s a big buzz around the place!”