Brentford captain Pontus Jansson has reflected on his time with the Bees ahead of his departure this summer, and has highlighted the play-off final win against Swansea City as one of the 'best days of his life'.
During the in-depth conversation ahead of his move to boyhood club Malmo this summer, the defender discussed some of his key moments and games since joining the club from Leeds United in 2019.
And that day at Wembley Stadium in May 2021 was one moment that Jansson discussed, as he talked through the range of emotions he went through over the course of the 24-hour period before and after we won promotion to the Premier League.
“The Fulham game (the play-off final defeat) was one of my toughest games, but the win against Swansea is one of my best football memories and also one of the best days of my life," Jansson said.
“It felt like it was my whole football career decided in one day. I took it so hard. The night before we got a video from Thomas [Frank] and Brian [Riemer] that had been organised with our families.
“We were sitting in our hotel in Wembley and they were showing us this inspirational video from our families and fans. First, it was my wife with my daughter and I just started to cry in front of everyone.
“But then everyone else’s came and they started to cry - it was 20 men sat in a room, in a hotel before the game, and almost everyone was crying!
“I slept very badly that night because I thought, ‘If I don’t make it tomorrow, I will probably never do it and find it hard to come back and go again’.
“I actually have no memories from the game. I remember we had a good start, Ivan [Toney] scored the penalty, that was 1-0 and then Emi (Emiliano Marcondes) made it 2-0.
“Ivan then had the shot that hit the bar and I remember just feeling like, ‘Oh no, not again…’
“When the whistle went, it was just crazy.”
He added: “I don’t know if people know but I was cramping up after 75 minutes and I felt sick because there was so much at stake for me.
“I went down on the pitch and Henrik [Dalsgaard] just said, ‘If you can’t play, just go off, we have Winston Reid on the bench, he’s experienced, we will sort it out for you’.
“I told Thomas we had to change it, it was too much for me.
"I went into the dressing room, started to cry, saw Bob [Oteng, kit manager] gave him a big hug, went to the toilet, and almost started to throw up.
“I went back into the dressing room, looked at my phone and it was full of messages with five minutes to go. I went out to the pitch again and looked at Christian [Norgaard] - we didn’t say anything but we were both smiling.
“The final whistle went and we had a big hug. We were almost a bit too emotional!”
There were plenty of games since our promotion to the top flight that were discussed by Jansson, including the Bees' 3-3 draw with Liverpool and 4-1 win over Chelsea last season.
But our 2-1 win over Watford in April 2022 was one that meant a lot to the 32-year-old, having scored the winning goal to all but secure our Premier League survival last season.
The Bees man detailed: “It was a hot, spring day in London against Watford. I think we had 36 points, it felt a little bit like we were almost safe but we maybe needed one or three more points to be totally safe.
“I remember it was 1-1, towards the end of the game, they were pushing forward to try and make it 2-1 because they massively needed three points. They had a massive chance, they missed an open goal.
“We got the free-kick and I was telling Christian [Norgaard] and everyone else to relax. Me, being the leader, I thought one point would be good, we’d be on 37 points, it would probably be enough to stay in the Premier League.
“And then, a minute later, I’m heading in to make it 2-1.
“That was one of the only days when I was in the spotlight - I scored the winner to give Brentford the three points and, more or less, to secure our place in the Premier League.
“It’s not often I want the spotlight, I normally want to push someone else forward to be the main man, but, on that day, I was the main man. It was a fantastic day and it will never be forgotten by me.”
He added: “I remember, earlier on in the season, I saw a flag that said ‘Brentford is my passion’ with a picture of me. I always had that in my mind.
“That’s really how it is. These four years at Brentford has been my passion. I came here with my family and invested everything I had to do everything for this club.
“After that goal, I just felt like, ‘This is what it means’. It meant everything to be successful with this team and this club.
“That line just came out, and now we have it on the wall in the dressing room, which is nice for me as well.
"Hopefully they keep it for a couple of years when I’m gone so they don’t forget me!”