Dele Alli called for Tottenham to use the pain of defeat against Liverpool in the Champions League final to drive them on next season, but admitted that missing out on Europe’s top prize was “heartbreaking”.
The England midfielder missed a number of opportunities at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, where goals from Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi earned Liverpool glory in the continent’s biggest competition for the sixth time on Saturday.
Tottenham will be in the Champions League again next season after finishing fourth in the Premier League and Alli said the memory of losing in Madrid could become a tool they use to better themselves.
“It’s heartbreaking, no one is really speaking,” the 25-year-old told reporters.
“We have to keep working, keep improving and take the feeling we have now of disappointment, that hurt and use it to drive us on.
“It’s been an amazing journey and I’d just like to say thanks to the fans for all their support.
“I’m sorry we couldn’t get over the final hurdle, but it’s a great learning curve and as I said, we have to keep this feeling inside of us, this hurt and take it into next season.”
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) June 1, 2019
Alli struggled with injuries this season and scored five goals in 25 Premier League appearances – his lowest tally in a campaign since he joined the club in February 2015.
Tottenham’s form fluctuated across the course of a season that saw the club move into its new home, but Alli said the experience of the last 12 months would stand the players in good stead.
“It’s time to reflect on what could have been,” he said.
“At the same time, and it’s difficult now, but we also have to look at how far we’ve come in reaching this final.
“It’s hard to take the positives right now but over time, players, staff and fans, when we look back at the journey together. This isn’t the end.”
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