The "key moment" of Sevilla FC's season has arrived and midfielder Christian Poulsen is desperate to make sure they do not let their big chance slip.
The Danish international has enjoyed a fine first season in Spain following his transfer last summer from FC Schalke 04. However, amid the excitement of Sevilla's three-pronged quest for honours, Poulsen is aware the time to deliver has arrived, starting with Wednesday's UEFA Cup final against RCD Espanyol. "We've had a very good year," he told uefa.com. "We're in two finals - the Copa del Rey and also the UEFA Cup final - but I hope that after this season we'll have a trophy in our hands and not just have played two finals and had a good season in the league. So now is the key moment that we have to win something."
'Best on the day'
Not that it will be easy against Espanyol. Although Sevilla defeated their final opponents 3-1 in the Primera División last month, Poulsen recalls they were resting players ahead of their semi-final against Werder Bremen and expects a "very tough match" this time. He added: "They are in the middle of the league, but Espanyol have played very, very well in the UEFA Cup - they beat Bremen who are a quality side. But when you play a final, it's about the team that is best on the day. At the moment we're in good form and we have a good chance."
It will help Sevilla to have Poulsen on song. In a team renowned for their exciting attacking football, particularly down the wings, the 27-year-old stands out in the holding role. "We have a lot of very good Brazilian players but I am a defensive midfield player and I think I have to look at the tactics - when everybody else runs forward I have to stay behind and close the door," he explained.
"Happy" is a word that keeps cropping up when Poulsen discusses his life in Spain and he is hopeful the Sevilla success story can run and run. Yet, with Espanyol lying in wait in Glasgow, the Spanish title race still running and Getafe CF to come in the Spanish Cup final, the here and now is Poulsen's pressing concern. He won at Hampden Park on a previous visit there with Denmark and hopes this will prove a happy omen after past cup final defeats with FC København and Schalke. He said: "Hopefully it will be another great occasion in Glasgow. I haven't played many finals so it's a very big moment for me and I hope we can win the trophy."
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