Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insists the London club deserved a spot in the controversial European Super League.
Arsenal were part of the six English teams and a total of 12 European teams that signed up for the breakaway league.
The plans have now collapsed as all English clubs have withdrawn from the process.
Fans mocked Arsenal for being involved in the league, given they have struggled to qualify for the Champions League for several seasons.
Asked about why Arsenal deserved to be in the competition, Arteta told reporters: “That we are one of the best clubs in the world, and we could not be any prouder to represent this club, its history, and we totally understand the demands and the excellence that we have to be pursuing.
“You cannot deny the history, and that history is attached to results, it’s attached to a certain way of doing things, to certain values, to representing those in the right manner, to having the amount of support and love that we have around the world.
“And that’s not a coincidence, that’s been earned over years and years with merit to a lot of people who have been involved in the history of the football club.”