Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

That Goal Left Me in Tears, Says Jermain; Goal Was as Good as Scoring in World Cup

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

That Goal Left Me in Tears, Says Jermain; Goal Was as Good as Scoring in World Cup

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Douglas Sports Writer Twitter: @msidouglas

JERMAIN Defoe says the feeling of scoring his Wear-Tyne derby wonder goal was the same as scoring in a World Cup for England - as he described his blossoming love for Sunderland.

Defoe's stunner was one of the best derby goals of recent times and wrote him into Black Cats folklore, a place where he is happy to reside. The former England forward was so emotional he cried at half-time and said he is "so glad" to be playing in the North East, where he moved to in January after an unhappy spell at Toronto.

And he insists he "gets it" - referring to the passion of Sunderland's supporters as well as the importance of winning the derby.

He said: "You say things to the media, I suppose because you have to, but I think since I have been here I have proved that I understand how big the club is and how much the people here love football. I think I showed I am an emotional person.

"As the whistle went for half-time and as I was walking down the tunnel I thought 'I'm crying and I'm on the telly' but I didn't care. For the fans and everyone it was just a special day.

"When you are a young kid playing football you want to play in massive games. The manager said to us beforehand, we were lucky to be playing in a game like this. There are so many young kids who wish they could play in a game like this. To be blessed enough and to score the winner is amazing.

"I have always been like this but I think that's because I am old-school.

"Even when I have retired I will probably still have a kickabout with my mates in the park. I love scoring goals - I know it means so much to t h e fans." Amazingly, Defoe Turn to Page 44 FROM BACK PAGE compared the feeling of scoring in the derby as similar to the emotion of scoring for England against Slovenia in the 2010 World Cup. …

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