Kostas Tsimikas opens up on Jurgen Klopp request moments before FA Cup-winning penalty

Kostas Tsimikas was the hero for Liverpool as they lifted the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon after a nerve-racking penalty shootout triumph over Chelsea at Wembley

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  • 21:24, 14 May 2022
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Liverpool hero Kostas Tsimikas asked Jurgen Klopp if he could take his team's seventh penalty in the shootout against Chelsea in the FA Cup final.

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It proved to be an inspired request as the popular Greek defender would go on to strike the winning spot kick and secure cup delight after a hard-fought affair on Saturday afternoon. Tsimikas converted from 12 yards after a crucial miss from Mason Mount, who was denied by Alisson.

The left-back – who replaced Andy Robertson in extra-time – wheeled away in emphatic celebration as his effort found the back of the net, while the red side of Wembley went wild for their second trophy of the season. Speaking after the match, Tsimikas explained how he requested his place in the penalty-taking pecking order during a chat with Klopp ahead of the shootout.

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"It's very, very special for me," he told BBC Sport . "The manager asked me which number I want. I say number seven. He asks me why so far? I say I want number seven. And number seven gave me the opportunity to win the game.

"I choose the right side and I score. And I am very happy with that. We want to win. Our goal from the start of the season was to go for it, hopefully at the end we are happy."

Although Tsimikas was visibly delighted about winning the FA Cup for Liverpool, he was keen to remind his teammates they are still competing in two more competitions: the Premier League and the Champions League.

"We gave it absolutely everything," he added. "Big congratulations to the boys. We have to celebrate hard. But tomorrow is the next day, we still have a lot to do. We have the games in the Premier League and we have the big final."

How many trophies will Liverpool end the season with? Have your say in the comments!

Kostas Tsimikas struck the winning penalty as Liverpool defeated Chelsea in the FA Cup final
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Image:
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Liverpool return to action just three days after their Wembley triumph with a trip to Southampton in the Premier League, while in the meantime they will hope title rivals Manchester City drop points in their clash with West Ham on Sunday.

Tsimikas – who models himself as the 'Greek Scouser' reaffirmed his message that he and his teammates will need to be "100 per cent focussed" to secure unlikely Premier League glory, let alone a victory over Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

"We have to celebrate now, but still in our minds we have the upcoming games," he said. "We have to be 100 per cent focused if we want to achieve our goals."

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