The Italian will celebrate his 26th birthday by taking on Manchester City at Wembley and he is desperate to make it a landmark day in his career.
He said: "It's something I want to achieve for my career, something that stays in history. Being there with Sunderland and having a great chance is something I have always dreamed about.
"When you are a kid, you are looking at the games and you are looking at people lifting the cups and it is really emotional, so you want to be there.
"Each one of us always watched the TV and thought, 'I want to be a winner and I want to lift the cup', and I think that's us, really.
"Each one of us will be thinking about lifting that cup and being important in that game. To have this chance - we are only one game away - is something unbelievable."
City are warm favourites to win the game but Mannone is confident the Black Cats have grown since Gus Poyet took over the reins from Paolo Di Canio.
He added: "It could turn out to be an amazing season, especially because of how it started. We had a few problems in the Premier League and we didn't get as many points as we would have liked in the first 10 games.
"But slowly after the gaffer came in, we changed our style and we changed our mentality, and now we have a chance to fight for survival.
"Reaching the final is something we couldn't predict and something amazing for everybody at the club."
Watch Manchester City v Sunderland on Sky Sports 1HD - coverage begins on Sunday from 12.30pm.