Thursday, June 24, 2021

Thank you football – tearful Pochettino lauds Spurs heroes

SoccerNews in Eredivisie 8 May 2019


An emotional Mauricio Pochettino felt passion inspired a remarkable comeback from his Tottenham heroes that snatched a Champions League final place at Ajax’s expense.

Spurs will take on Liverpool in an all-English showdown in Madrid on June 1, despite finding themselves 3-0 down on aggregate in Wednesday’s semi-final with 45 minutes to play at the Johan Cruijff ArenA.

Goals from Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt and Hakim Ziyech built upon Donny van de Beek’s solitary goal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last week, but Lucas Moura’s quickfire brace before the hour changed the complexion of the tie.

Both sides hit the woodwork before a devastating twist in the tale, as Lucas coolly steered home Dele Alli’s pass.

As in the similarly breathless quarter-final against Manchester City it meant progress on away goals for a Spurs side that lost their opening three matches of the group stage.

“Thank you, football; thank you these guys. I have an amazing set of players who are heroes,” Pochettino told BT Sport.

“This type of emotion, without football, I think it is impossible to live.

“Thank you to our fans and thank you for the people who believed in us during the season to achieve this amazing moment.

“We were talking before the game, in the meeting, that when you work and when you feel the love, it is not a stress, it is a passion.

“The emotion we showed today is the passion. We love the sport, football.”

Pochettino reserved special praise for Lucas, who claimed the matchball in the sixth minute of stoppage time.

“They were all heroes but him, a superhero. He deserves it.

“Everyone, from the first to the last moment. The tough moments we are living in these five years, you now have the chance to play a final.”

Struggling to hold back tears, Pochettino added: “I remember my family, it is for them too. The people who support us in that moment, it is amazing to reward them.”


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