Monday, June 21, 2021

Champions League semi-final a dream come true for Pochettino

SoccerNews in Eredivisie 29 Apr 2019


Mauricio Pochettino says he is living his dream with Tottenham after guiding them to the Champions League semi-finals.

Ajax are Tottenham’s opponents in Tuesday’s first leg in north London, with the Eredivisie leaders having beaten Real Madrid and Juventus en route to the last four.

Spurs’ preparations for the tie took a turn for the worse on Saturday, as they slipped to a 1-0 home defeat to West Ham – their first loss at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, though Pochettino’s side remain in pole position in the race for Champions League qualification.

Having established Tottenham as Champions League regulars, Pochettino outlined that the next step is to win trophies, but insisted he is fulfilling his dream at Spurs regardless of any silverware.

“I am already living my dream. To be in a semi-final with Tottenham. It was a dream five years ago and now we are living it,” Pochettino told a news conference.

“Always you have to dream. If you want to get to the moon, you always have to set your dreams to infinity and beyond.

“When you are ambitious and you want to achieve big things, you need to dream.

“I always was a dreamer, when I was very young I dream that one day I would be a football player. Of course it was tough to achieve but I believe that when you are determined to achieve something it will take time to get.

“I can say I am 100 per cent happy. Always you can try to do better, but I think we have done a very good job in the last five years.

“I would love to win the FA Cup like the EFL Cup or any competition. But it’s not about winning one cup, it’s about being real contenders for the Champions League and Premier League.

“We have a great opportunity to play a semi. It’s our first time. That is why you must respect the competition and the opponent. It’s going to be so tough.”

Tottenham overcame Manchester City in an epic quarter-final, despite missing leading scorer Harry Kane through injury.

The suspended Son Heung-min will join Kane in being reduced to the role of spectator on Tuesday.

But Pochettino believes his side have the spirit to cope without two key figures.

“We arrived where we are now because we are a team. We don’t care who’s going to score,” Pochettino said.

“We create a spirit that makes you believe all is possible. Of course we are going to miss players.

“We think like a team. To play a semi-final in our new stadium is something no one would have believed a few months ago. The motivation and happiness are bigger than any injury.”


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