I KNEW THIS DAY WOULD COME!
LEICESTER City number one Kasper Schmeichel will lead his team out at Wembley this afternoon for an occasion he knew would come, writes Jordan Blackwell.
The Dane will be captain for the club’s first FA Cup final in 52 years, which comes a decade after he first arrived at the King Power Stadium in the summer of 2011.
Back then, City were a mid-table Championship side. However, Schmeichel had a feeling he would one day be playing in the biggest occasions with the club.
Asked if it had crossed his mind 10 years ago that he might play in an FA Cup final with City, he said: “Yes, it did. That was the plan. When I signed for the club, Khun Vichai said to me we would be challenging and we would be in the
Champions League in five years and he didn’t strike me as the type of person who was messing around when he said things like that.
“That gave me belief. That was what instilled the belief into everybody in the club.
“They’re serious about investing into the club and making it what it is today.
“Here we are in an FA Cup final. It’s my first FA Cup final. For me personally it’s really exciting to be able to play at Wembley, granted not a full Wembley, but we’ll take anything at the moment.
“To be able to share that with the fans, and maybe bring a trophy home, that would be fantastic.
“I understand these things are rare and don’t come along very often, so you’ve just got to enjoy them.
“The biggest occasions, that’s the ones you enjoy the most because they’re the ones you dream about when you’re a child playing football in the streets with your mates.
“Those are the moments you dream of. Being in finals, lifting trophies, being part of a team and going in dressing rooms afterwards and feeling that buzz of winning.”
Schmeichel, below, along with Wes Morgan and Jamie Vardy, has been there for nearly every step of the way as City have risen to the top.
It’s a journey that makes him even more grateful to be playing in matches like today’s. “It makes you appreciate it a lot more because you know the other side of football,” he said.
“Football isn’t the glamour that you see on TV all the time, it’s a hard life, particularly if you’re playing lower-league football. It just makes you very appreciative of the situation you’re in.
“We appreciate what the club does for us and the framework they put in place for us to go and be successful. And then it’s down to us.
“You end up being more grateful for the moments.
“You realise that they do not come around very often, so you’ve got to enjoy them, you’ve got to live in the now.”
SCHMEICHEL ALWAYS BELIEVED LEICESTER CITY WOULD PLAY IN FA CUP FINAL