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Diomansy Kamara’s Europa League dream

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Loan Celt Diomansy Kamara will be in the Hamburg Arena tonight cheering Fulham on against Athletico Madrid.

Fulham’s run to the final of the Europa League has caught the attention of the uncommitted with the words Athletico and Madrid always causing anger and distress for anyone at Celtic who witnessed the European Cup semi-final clashes between the clubs in 1974.

Kamara joined Celtic on loan in January from Fulham and played in four matches of their epic Europa League campaign and scored in the Olympic Stadium against Roma as Roy Hodgson’s side fought their way through the group stages.

The 29-year-old striker has watched from afar as his team-mates battled past Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk, Wolfsborg and Hamburg to reach the final but will be in Hamburg tonight hoping to see the Londoners become the first side to win the Europa League.

Kamara told the Celtic View:  “I think that everyone is a bit surprised to be in the final because of the teams that they have been drawn against but they are a great team, have a good spirit and a good coach.

“I am very happy for my team-mates, I think that they deserve to be in the final and I will be going to the game.

“My best friend is Dickson Etuhu and I was talking to him recently about Celtic and Fulham, I’ve a lot of friends at Fulham after spending three years there.

“They deserve to be in the final after beating teams from Germany and Italy, now they need to beat a Spanish side.

“I think that Liverpool would have been harder to play, when you play a big team like that in a final in can get harder.

“Against Athletico there is no pressure, Fulham are a small club and I think they have a good chance of winning.”

Fulham have doubts over the fitness of Damien Duff and Bobby Zamora but both players trained last night after flying in to Germany yesterday.

Roy Hodgson had asked for the game to be postponed on Sunday rather than face another 600 mile drive when flight cancellations threatened the club’s travel plans.

After a marathon campaign stretching back to July Hodgson is hopeful of having his side at full strength for tonight’s clash.

The Fulham boss said: “Duff and Zamora trained on Monday and that was very, very positive.  I’ve been given no indication that they’re suffering from a reaction so my hope is that they’ll be available.”

Hodgson lost out in the final of the 1997 UEFA Cup when Schalke 04 beat Inter Milan on penalties in the San Siro with the Fulham boss looking to fare better tonight.

He added: “This is a greater occasion (than in 1997) because it’s a one-off final. Playing the final at home and away wasn’t the same.

“Of course, my memories of that final are very vivid. If you lose on penalties in front of your own crowd the memory will stay with you – and it won’t be a happy one.

“I’m proud of reaching that final but I hope Inter Milan will forgive me for saying that I’m even prouder of this

“If we lose then I hope it means we’ve been beaten by a better team and not that we’ve been very unlucky or been hit by some decisions that are controversial.

“At the moment we’re planning not to be second best, we’re planning to try and win the competition.

“Whatever happens it’s been a very good season for us and we’re determined to crown that season by winning the trophy.”

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2 comments

  • Eddie Murray says:

    Unfortunately, it was a bittersweet night for the Fulham lads.Sweet to compete in the inaugural Europa Final and score a great goal-bitter to lose at the death to a fine touch from one of Europe’s most prolific strikers and ex Man Utd man Diego Forlan. Congratulations to Roy’s boys on reaching a momentous night and in the way they played.

  • Joe McHugh says:

    When I saw Forlan score, the jersey off, the extended celebrations, the time lost etc etc etc it reminded me of the part of Seville we try to forget…….. Porto.

    However we did lose out to the following season’s Champions League winners and knocked out the 2005 winners, Liverpool, along the way.

    What happens next at Fulham will be interesting, I can’t see it getting any better and Roy Hodgson will be linked with every job going, and probably some that aren’t.

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