Nick Tsaroulla choked up in an emotional interview after scoring in Crawley’s shock win over Leeds in the FA Cup third round.
The 21-year-old left-back opened the scoring in superb fashion by beating three Leeds players, before firing past Kiko Casilla in the 50th minute on Sunday.
Further goals from Ashley Nadesan and Jordan Tunnicliffe saw the League Two club dump Marcelo Bielsa’s men out of the competition – with reality TV star Mark Wright even coming off the bench for Crawley to rub further salt in Leeds’ wounds.
It has been a long road for former Tottenham and Brentford youth player Tsaroulla, who spent a year out of football in rehabilitation after being involved in a car crash in 2017.
And he could not contain his emotions during his post-match interview.
BBC reporter Emma Saunders asked: “For you personally, what does it mean? Let’s face it, It’s been difficult few years for you with some ups and downs, but the perseverance and hard work, [it’s] worth it.
He said: “Yeah, it is. I’m getting a bit emotional now. It’s been a tough road. It means a lot.”
After being released by Brentford at the end of the 2018/19 season, Tsaroulla joined Crawley last October.
He has featured seven times for the Red Devils with his goal against Premier League club Leeds proving hard work does pay off.