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Page last updated at 06:36 GMT, Thursday, 20 May 2010 07:36 UK

Cardiff City's Michael Chopra hoping for Wembley repeat

Coca Cola Championship play-off final - Blackpool v Cardiff City
Venue: Wembley Stadium Date: Saturday, 22 May Kick-off: 1500 BST
Coverage: Full commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live & online, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru, live text commentary online and score updates on BBC Sport website and highlights on The Football League Show. Live on Sky Sports 1


Michael Chopra
Chopra is Cardiff's record signing after his £4m move from Sunderland in 2009

Michael Chopra is hoping for Wembley déjà vu in the Championship play-off final against Blackpool and fire Cardiff City into the Premier League.

The Bluebirds striker scored a Wembley winner for the England Under-16s back in July 1999 when he pounced in the final ten minutes to beat Argentina.

"Scoring a winner in such a big game like Saturday's would be a dream come true for me," Chopra told BBC Sport.

"My England U16s goal was a great buzz. I'd love to feel that again."

Chopra was the man-of-the-match when young England beat an Argentina side including Carlos Tevez under the famous Twin Towers in the final year of the old Wembley.

The former England under-21 international will never forget the goal he scored on Wembley's hallowed turf albeit at youth level inside a relatively empty ground.

Chopra boasts an unbeaten Wembley record and would relish scoring in front of a packed 90,000 crowd at the new Wembley in the match that has been billed as the richest one-off club game in world football due to the potential £90m riches Premier League promotion would bring.

"I played at Wembley for England U16s against Argentina," recalled the former Newcastle United and Sunderland forward.

"I think there were seven minutes to go when one of our players had a shot which the keeper palmed out and I stuck the rebound in the net.

"Every kid dreams of scoring the big goals in the big stadiums and to do that at Wembley on Saturday would be great and cap a good season for me."

Chopra arrived for his third stint in South Wales last summer with the burden of being Cardiff City's record signing and having to prove his quality all over again.

Michael Chopra talks to Sport Wales on Friday on BBC TWO Wales

Cardiff boss Dave Jones initially signed Chopra for a bargain £500,000 from Newcastle United in 2006 but he left for Newcastle's rivals Sunderland in a high-profile £5m move after scoring an impressive 22 goals in one season.

Chopra failed to settle at Premier League Sunderland so re-joined Cardiff, initially on loan then in an estimated £4m permanent transfer last summer.

"I know the the club paid a lot of money for me and I knew I would be judged this season," Chopra told BBC Sport.

"Especially as I was in the Premier League last season and people would judge me on how well I did and if I didn't do well people will call me a flop but I am relatively pleased with the way I have done."

Chopra has scored 20 goals in his first full season back in south Wales and has helped fire the free-scoring Bluebirds in to Saturday's Championship play-off final with Blackpool.

Chopra's goals plus Peter Whittingham's 25 season tally and and Jay Bothroyd's 13 goal contribution this season have catapulted the Bluebirds within touching distance of realising their Premier League dream.

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The Geordie has scored vital goals for Cardiff this season with a double - including the stoppage-time winner in their south Wales derby win over Swansea, one in their play-off with Leicester and two hat-tricks, including four goals against Derby County.

Chopra played for Watford in an FA Cup semi-final defeat to Southampton in 2003 and graced the Nou Camp turf in a Champions League match against Barcelona.

But he insists: "This will be the biggest I've ever played in," he admitted.

"For what is at stake is massive. I was at Sunderland when Cardiff played at Wembley in the 2008 FA Cup final but I was inside the stadium to watch the game.

"Losing to Portsmouth was disappointing but hopefully we can put that right on Saturday."

* Catch the full Michael Chopra interview on BBC TWO Wales' Sport Wales Cardiff City play-off special on Friday at 2100 BST



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see also
Sport Wales: The TV Programme
15 Mar 11 |  Wales
Cardiff's big games on big screen
20 May 10 |  People and Places
Cardiff fans face motorway chaos
19 May 10 |  South east
Gatland inspiration for Holloway
19 May 10 |  Wales
Wales lines up for identity parade
19 May 10 |  Wales
Cardiff warned over Wembley pitch
18 May 10 |  Cardiff
Bothroyd injury cost us - Hudson
22 May 10 |  Cardiff
McPhail to repay Cardiff support
14 May 10 |  Cardiff
Cardiff ready for 'biggest' game
13 May 10 |  Championship
Cardiff 2-3 Leicester (agg 3-3)
12 May 10 |  Championship
Forest 3-4 Blackpool (agg 4-6)
11 May 10 |  Championship
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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