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No scorpion kick for Ospina as he relishes Wembley final

25 februari 2018 12:32

Arsenal's David Ospina is relishing the experience of playing in another cup final at Wembley, a venue that has long held a special place in the heart of the Colombian goalkeeper.

Serving as deputy to Petr Cech in the Premier League, Ospina has largely been restricted to appearances in the EFL Cup, FA Cup and Europa League.

The 29-year-old will be between the posts when Arsenal face Manchester City in the EFL Cup final on Sunday, having helped them beat Chelsea in the FA Cup decider last May.

That victory gave Ospina further fond memories of Wembley, an arena already engrained in the history of Colombian football as the scene of the famous 'scorpion kick' clearance by eccentric goalkeeper Rene Higuita in an international friendly in 1995.

Looking back on that iconic moment, Ospina said: "We were delighted. We talked about it a lot. It was great he did it at Wembley, too. 

"For us Colombians Higuita is a really important figure. He did so much for the national team and the country. I have always had great respect for him, and it's nice that he is remembered here for something special."

It is unlikely that Ospina will attempt to replicate Higuita's moment of magic in a game of such magnitude, though manager Arsene Wenger felt compelled to remind him he would not approve of deploying the unusual technique.

"I wouldn't really be happy [to see Ospina try it]," Wenger said. "It shows that football has changed. These kind of characters have disappeared from the game. With the importance of every single result, there is less room for this kind of improvisation and more individual responsibility on the players."

Rather than attempting to pull off a feat of individual skill, Ospina is focused instead on ensuring he makes the most of the opportunity to impress and earns himself another Wembley experience to remember.

"Of course, everybody wants to play as regularly as they can but in my situation it's a question of always being fully prepared and we will be for the final," he added.

"I always love playing at Wembley. It's the kind of atmosphere you want to experience. City are excellent, no doubt. 

"They have an outstanding group of players who have done things very well through the season. But our focus will be on what we do well and how we can achieve what we want to."

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