After an injury-laden season with Tottenham Hotspur, Erik Lamela has expressed his delight at making the Champions League final with the north London club.
Lamela came off the bench in Spurs' heroic comeback away to Ajax which saw them qualify for the final in Madrid where they will play Liverpool.
After six goals in his first 11 games this season, the winger looked set for a brilliant year. Injuries to his back, thigh and hamstring, however, have stunted his progress. Now close to full fitness, the Argentine has spoken of the trouble he has had this season.
As reported by Evening Standard, Lamela said: "It's been a difficult one. When I pick up a new injury, with everything that I've lived through in my career now with the injuries, it's difficult.
"It's part of the game no? Sometimes it happens to me, sometimes to other players."
Manager Mauricio Pochettino has been hampered by injuries to his Spurs squad in the lead up to the final, with Harry Kane and Harry Winks also racing to be fit in time.
Having overcome so many setbacks, Lamela admits he now just wants to savour the occasion in Madrid on Saturday, as he said: "I hope now to enjoy this game because it's like a present I've been given after such a difficult period I've been through. I'm preparing myself to give my best.
"But now it's an opportunity we need to take. We talk among ourselves that it's a great opportunity to be in the history of this club and that's what we want. We're trying to arrive in the best condition, the best feeling and I think I am confident we're going to play a very good game."
Both Tottenham and Liverpool have had nearly three weeks to prepare for this final, and should each be in good shape going into the game on Saturday. Only time will tell whether Lamela's 'present' is the one he is hoping for.