Mauricio Pochettino: Tottenham manager’s tears as Spurs reach Champions League final


In the end, it was all too much for Mauricio Pochettino.

Having seen his Tottenham side stage a remarkable fightback from 3-0 down on aggregate away to Ajax to reach a first Champions League final, the Argentine could not contain his emotions.

BBC Sport looks at how the Spurs boss and others reacted on an astonishing night in Amsterdam for the north London club.

When German referee Felix Brych signalled the end of a pulsating semi-final moments after Lucas Moura’s dramatic 96th-minute winner, Pochettino sprinted onto the pitch to celebrate with his players.

The 47-year-old, who hinted on the eve of the game he could leave the club if they win the Champions League this year, sank to his knees and then came the tears of joy which continued during his post-match television interview.

“I want to remember my family… it’s amazing to reward them,” Pochettino, who celebrates his fifth anniversary in charge of Spurs before the final with Liverpool in Madrid on 1 June, told BT Sport.

“The emotion is amazing, thank you to football. Thank you football – this type of emotion without football is not possible.

“Thank you to everyone who has believed in us. To describe this in words is difficult.”

Former Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher got emotional watching Pochettino get emotional.

“Pochettino is crying like a baby and he was on his knees when they scored,” Fletcher told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“It gets you emotional watching him and seeing how much it means to him.”

‘Screaming and then I choked up’

It was not just Pochettino who struggled to contain themselves at the end in the Johan Cruyff Arena.

“There was some screaming and then I completely choked up and lost my voice,” former Spurs midfielder Jermaine Jenas told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“I was all over the place and it was raw emotion – disbelief and shock.

“Certain players like Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld have been at that club for a long time, trying to develop themselves, and I do not think they envisaged playing in a European Cup final for Tottenham.

“Spurs need these days, and if they can win it, it sends them into a completely different stratosphere. It is the best night in the club’s history.

“Managers have everything thrown at them and that was a night for Mauricio Pochettino. He may never get this sort of game ever again and I’m delighted for him and the football club.”

‘It almost makes you speechless’

Even former players who never wore the Tottenham shirt got caught up in the emotion of their incredible achievement.

“It almost makes you speechless what happened,” said ex-England defender Rio Ferdinand, who was working for BT Sport.

“You need heart, desire and effort. It’s about putting your heart on the line.”

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