Southampton defender Cédric hoping for more success after lifting the EURO 2016 trophy with Portugal.
Cédric has felt this kind of pressure, anticipation and excitement before.
Sat in the changing room at the Stade de France on Sunday 10th July, the full-back was preparing for the biggest night of his career so far.
Hosts France stood in the way of Portugal’s first ever major trophy.
But the underdogs were not to be denied, despite key man Cristiano Ronaldo hobbling off injured in the first half, with Éder’s extra-time winner ensuring Cédric, along with his teammates, will be remembered forever in Portugal.
Now, the former Sporting man stands on the cusp of a second major trophy in less than a year, with Southampton heading to Wembley to take on Manchester United in the EFL Cup final.
Perhaps viewed as the underdog again, this is familiar territory for Cédric. “I think of course we are with a little bit less responsibility for the game than Manchester United,” he told southamptonfc.com.
“They are a very big name in football. Everybody knows about them. They have great players and a great squad, with a great coach.
“Our best quality can be to prepare for the game thinking more about ourselves. Of course we have to know about the opponent.
“But we must prepare for the game and believe in what we do, the way we work every day and believe in our qualities, because we also have a lot of international players.
“We have players who can make a difference,” he continued. “If we believe in our qualities, and we play the game with everything we have got, we can achieve the victory.”
WE MUST PREPARE FOR THE GAME AND BELIEVE IN WHAT WE DO, THE WAY WE WORK AND TRUST IN OUR QUALITIES.CÉDRIC
Does his success with Portugal mean he’ll be better prepared to deal with the occasion and the intensity of a final this time around?
“Playing in the EURO 2016 final was, of course, very important for me and my career,” he added.
“It’s a game that I will always remember. These kind of games make you stronger as a player, make you more prepared for these kind of games, where the pressure is so high.
“I have played in these games now, so to have another final in the same year, just makes me feel better and more prepared for the game.
“I will face the game in the same way I face every one. To be playing these finals, you don’t need extra motivation, because you already have that motivation.”
The 25 year-old’s final words of advice are simple: “You just have to focus on your own work and your own game. You have to believe. This is how I will prepare.”