Fists pumping, a jump for joy – if ever a picture told a story then the photographs of Eric Dier’s celebrations after opening the scoring against Everton on Sunday said a thousand words.

Emotions were running high for the 25-year-old after he rifled home his first goal at the new stadium in our 2-2 draw against Everton, a point that secured fourth place in the Premier League and Champions League football next season.

Sidelined three times by illness and injury between 12 December-20 April, Eric missed some big games in that time including the League Cup semi-final first leg against Chelsea, Champions League last 16 first leg against Borussia Dortmund and quarter-final against City, huge Premier League games against Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool and for a player who has been at the Club since 2014, the big one – the opening of our new stadium against Palace in April.Previous

Eric celebrates his goal against Everton

No wonder that goal meant so much. “Yes, it means a lot to me.” said Eric. “It’s been a very difficult season but I’m happy to have ended it that way.

“The great thing about football is that you are always learning and you can always do better and get better. Now I just want to stay fit and healthy and being able to help the team.”

Eric’s goal was quickly followed by the first big rendition of his song ‘I love Eric Dier…’ from 60,000 fans, a moment he’ll cherish. “You try to focus on the game but you can’t help but notice,” he said. “It was a fantastic moment for me, my family as well, something I’ll always remember.”

he England international has racked up 209 appearances in all competitions since his debut in 2014 and has certainly played his part as we’ve qualified for Champions League football four seasons on the trot.

“That was our objective going into the season,” he added. “I don’t think we were one of the favourites to do that at the time. Overall, it’s a very positive season given all the things we’ve had to overcome.

“We’ve handled every situation and we can be very proud of ourselves and where we are now, Champions League secured for next season and now going for the Champions League Final.”

Celebrations after Eric’s goal

What a way to end the season as we take on Liverpool in the Champions League Final in Madrid on 1 June.

“It’s an extremely proud moment for all of us as a Club and as a squad,” said Eric. “We deserve a moment like this for everything we’ve done over the last five years. I think it’s fitting we have an occasion like this. We’re all excited and we’ll go there, give everything and try to win.”