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Cool-headed Kuyt bound for Athens

Dirk Kuyt has admitted that he "had no nerves at all" as he stepped up to convert the penalty last night which sent Liverpool FC through to next month's final.

Dirk Kuyt is seeking to cap his first season with Liverpool FC with UEFA Champions League success after his coolly-converted penalty sealed his team's place in the final in Athens on 23 May.

Calm conversion
Kuyt, who also hit the bar with a header and had an effort ruled out for offside, told uefa.com: "Liverpool is a top European club and I came here to win trophies. This is one of the biggest and I'm very pleased to have this happen in my first year here. Now we just have to win it." The Dutch international's penalty conversion, which provoked paroxysms of delight among the home fans, was almost perfunctory: He said: "Actually I had no nerves at all. They had missed two penalties so I just had to take my responsibility. I just chose a corner."

Crowd role
Kuyt, who has yet to score in regulation play in this season's competition, was quick to share the glory of the shoot-out success. He said: "The noise for the penalties from the crowd was unbelievable. Pepe Reina did his the job for us but so did the crowd. You always have to be a bit lucky but we deserved to win. We played a really good game and the only thing Chelsea did was play long balls. We always controlled the game even if one or two times they were dangerous with [Didier] Drogba."

Tactical nous
The tall 26-year-old Dutch international, who joined Liverpool from Feyenoord last summer, also paid tribute to Rafael Benítez after the Spanish coach guided Liverpool to their second UEFA Champions League final in three years. He said: "He has made a strong team of Liverpool. He has made us tactically very strong. He did a really good job and prepared us for everything."

No preference
Kuyt added he had no preferences for who Liverpool play in the final, AC Milan or Manchester United FC. He said. "If Manchester United reach the final it would be another great game like these two against Chelsea. I watched the final against Milan two years ago and it was unbelievable. It was a great match, a historic match. After seeing that it is very good we are again heading to the final."