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Cardozo out to bring joy to Benfica

With SL Benfica 90 minutes from the UEFA Europa League final, Óscar Cardozo tells UEFA.com a first European trophy in 51 years is "a truly beautiful" prospect for the Eagles.

Benfica's Óscar Cardozo has four goals in seven UEFA Europa League appearances this season
Benfica's Óscar Cardozo has four goals in seven UEFA Europa League appearances this season ©AFP/Getty Images

With SL Benfica 90 minutes away from reaching the UEFA Europa League final, striker Óscar Cardozo spoke to UEFA.com about the season so far and whether the best might be yet to come – although he recognises overturning a 1-0 semi-final first-leg defeat at Fenerbahçe SK will be no easy matter.

On Benfica's season
Everything is going well. On a personal level too, I'm scoring a lot of goals, including in the Europa League. I'm helping my team-mates so things are excellent.

On his displays in the UEFA Europa League 
Every player wants to play in this competition – it's very important, both on a personal level and for the club. We are trying to benefit as much as we can, trying to have a good season.

On his goals in the competition
I just try to do my job well and help the team. Whether I score or not doesn't matter. Thanks God, it is going well and I'm scoring goals, so I can be important for the team.

On Fenerbahçe
They're very strong, they have some great players. It'll be very difficult for us, but we have the quality to get through this round and reach the final. I hope we'll play our own game as always – try to keep the ball and create chances, like we do every time. We have to make maximum use of the chances we get, because this is a knockout game.

On what Benfica learned from their semi-final defeat by SC Braga in 2011
We've played a lot of games and gained a lot of experience in the UEFA [Europa League] and Champions League. We have to approach this match calmly and play our own game, because we have many great players. We've always done well in terms of playing our own game and we have to try to score goals.

On what a first European trophy since 1962 would mean to Benfica
A lot, honestly a lot. Benfica haven't been in a European final for a long time, so it will truly be beautiful to win this competition and bring joy to the people who are always with us, in good and bad. So hopefully we can reach the final and win this trophy.

On Benfica's eagle mascot
The players who are involved in the game don't see it, but for the crowd it is a very important Benfica symbol. I've never had the chance [to see it] but I've been told me it is very beautiful and it has a big impact. I've never been too close to it – because I'm a bit afraid of it!