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Monday 5 December 2016

Redknapp: European glory "not impossible"

Published 26/11/2010 | 14:40

Harry Redknapp today declared Tottenham can win the Champions League, despite being the only rookies through to the last 16.

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The Spurs boss insisted it was "not impossible" for his side to go all the way to Wembley but admitted it was "unlikely" they would beat the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United and Chelsea to European football's biggest prize.

Redknapp's declaration came exactly a week after he claimed Tottenham could become Barclays Premier League champions, something that was followed just 24 hours later by a stunning comeback against Arsenal in the north London derby.

Spurs carried the momentum from that 3-2 win into Wednesday night's penultimate Champions League Group A game against Werder Bremen, which saw them clinch qualification for the knockout stage with a game to spare.

Asked if Tottenham, who also stunned holders Inter Milan earlier this month, could succeed the Italians as European champions, Redknapp joked: "I'll be quoted as saying, 'We can win the Champions League', tomorrow!"

He added: "I think Barcelona, Real Madrid are absolutely incredible at the moment; I think anybody beating them is going to do well.

"Chelsea, Man United, for me, are certainly the two strongest sides still in this country.

"You don't know, do you? It's not impossible, it's not impossible.

"Anything can happen, can't it?

"It's unlikely but it's not impossible."

Spurs have taken Europe's premier club competition by storm, almost half a century after their last season among the elite.

Redknapp added: "I think it's taken the club back onto another level; they've been there before, obviously, in the past - many years ago.

"But to do what we've done now is a great achievement from the players."

Winning the Champions League would hand Spurs an automatic place into next year's competition but Redknapp is realistic enough to know that is far more likely to be achieved by a top-four finish in the Barclays Premier League.

Sunday sees them face a Liverpool side who are still considered one of the so-called 'big four', despite losing their Champions League place to Spurs.

The Reds - arguably the last shock winners of the European Cup five years ago - made a terrible start to life under new manager Roy Hodgson but the former Fulham boss has transformed their fortunes to such an extent that they will go above sixth-placed Tottenham if they win by two goals or more at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

"I still think they're a big threat," Redknapp said.

"Last year, obviously, they were favourites to make the top four.

"Then ourselves and Man City came along and pushed them back a bit.

"But I think (Fernando) Torres is back playing, looking sharp again, scoring goals.

"Roy's had a chance to get in there and get them playing the way he wants to play.

"I think we'll see Liverpool get stronger and stronger as the season goes on."

Meanwhile, Redknapp gave his take on events at potential Champions League opponents Real Madrid, who were last night hit with UEFA charges for allegedly ensuring two of their players were sent off.

Manager Jose Mourinho stands accused of instructing midfielder Xabi Alonso and defender Sergio Ramos to pick up second yellow cards in Tuesday night's win at Ajax to ensure they would be suspended for their dead rubber against Auxerre and not later in the competition.

"If it has happened, it's a dangerous one," said Redknapp.

"If the manager told the players to do that - I'm not saying he did, but if he did - there'll come a day when he won't have such a good relationship with the players maybe or he'll want to leave them out the team.

"It'd be a very difficult situation, I think, as a manager, to live with that.

"You don't want that in the dressing room; you don't want players being able to point fingers at you because something you've done is not right."

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