FA Cup shootout hero Kostas Tsimikas has told talkSPORT his trophy-winning penalty for Liverpool was the first of his career.
The Greek full-back was a substitute for Jurgen Klopp in extra time and turned out to be an unexpected winner.
The match had gone to a penalty shootout after 120 minutes without a goal, then the kicks themselves even reached sudden death.
But they didn’t last much longer than that, with Mason Mount missing Chelsea’s seventh attempt, allowing Tsimikas to send Edouard Mendy the wrong way and bring the winner home.
Speaking to talkSPORT after his heroics, Tsimikas said: “Yeah it was very very stressful but I tried to calm myself down to try to be focused and shoot the ball from the right side.
“I went [on] because Robbo [Andy Robertson] had cramps.
“At the end [Klopp] asked me what number I wanted, I told him seven, I thought maybe he wanted to put me on sooner but that’s the number I chose from the start and I’m very very happy with it .
The 26-year-old former Olympiacos defender showed no apparent signs of stress as he won the game but later revealed it was the first penalty of his career.
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“No, it was just the first and maybe I’ll shoot more often now,” he said.
Liverpool still have the chance to claim an unprecedented treble this season, adding the Premier League and Champions League to their FA Cup and League Cup wins.
Manchester City appear to be closing in on the title, but with Real Madrid still to play in Paris, Tsimikas said another trophy was a huge boost ahead of his side’s final three games.
“Yeah, sure, that’s a really, really big boost,” he said. “For us, we won the trophy today, but tomorrow is the day after.
“We have to concentrate again to control ourselves and we have two very, very important games and then we go back to the Champions League final.”
Affectionately dubbed the ‘Greek Scouser’ by the Anfield faithful, part of Tsimikas’ brilliant start in England has been down to his relationship with his teammates, and in particular Mohamed Salah.
The left-back was asked about Salah’s early substitution and injury, as well as the star striker’s future at the club.
He said: “I think Mo is very, very smart, I think he came out early.
“I told him, because we talked before he said it’s not something important and I can’t wait to see him again in the final.
“I want him to stay, I told him what I want but it’s not just about me, it’s about him and the club, I can’t do anything else, I’m still trying to enjoy every moment with him.
“First of all, I don’t want to talk about the quality of a player. I want to talk about the quality of a person. He’s one of the best people I’ve met in football and I want to keep this relationship for a long time.
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