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I underestimated importance of FA Cup - Aston Villa's Vlaar

Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar has acknowledged that he was unaware of the stature of the FA Cup in English football prior to the weekend.

Vlaar was part of the Villa side that defeated Liverpool 2-1 in the semi-final at Wembley to book a date with Arsenal in the May 30 final and the Dutchman admits he did not know the competition was so prestigious.

After the match, Vlaar said: "I'm not that familiar with the English FA Cup. I don't think I realised just how big it is.

"You can just see it in the stands and out there on the pitch with us. It's massive.

"The impact for the fans; how big this club and what it all means. I called my dad and said 'This really means something!' It's great. Everything helps.

"Maybe the final would be my last game, but I don't know. It's hard to say. I want to win it anyway, no matter what. For the team. For the club, for the fans and for myself. Then we will see what happens."

Seven-time winners Villa, who last won the FA Cup in 1957, have not played in the final since their 1-0 loss to Chelsea in 2000.

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