Saturday 17 August 2019

WATCH: Emotional Mauricio Pochettino breaks down in tears as Tottenham produce a Champions League miracle

Mauricio Pochettino led the celebrations with his players at the final whistle
Mauricio Pochettino led the celebrations with his players at the final whistle
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino broke down in his post match press conference after his side produced an incredible comeback to beat Ajax and book their place in the Champions League final against Liverpool.

Lucas Moura's sensational second half hat-trick saw Tottenham come from 3-0 down to beat Ajax in Amsterdam, with the clinching goal coming in the 96th minute to spark scenes of wild celebration.

Spurs will now play in their first Champions League final on June 1st in Madrid, with Pochettino failing to control his emotions as he gave an emotional interview broadcast on Virgin Media Sport.

"Still difficult to talk," said Pochettino. "The emotion is amazing, thank you to football. My players are heroes - in the last year I was telling everyone this group are heroes. The second half they were amazing. Thank you football - this type of emotion without football is no possible. Thank you to everyone who has believed in us. To describe this in words is difficult.

"We were talking before the game that when you work and when you feel the love it's not stress, it's passion of the team. We showed we love the sport and football. Today was amazing. It was a joy to watch this kind of game.

"It's difficult to compete at this level. I am so grateful to be a coach. To be in football and to live this type of football. They are all heroes but Lucas Moura was a superhero."

Pochettino then welled up as he tried to thank his family for helping him on his path to a first major European final as a manager, with the tears in his eyes as the interview drew to an emotional conclusion.

"I want to remember my family... it's amazing to reward them. We need to be ready for the next game on Sunday then prepare for the final," he added.

Hat-trick hero Moura was also struggling to find words to describe his hat-trick, that ensured he reserved a special place for himself in Tottenham folklore.

"Impossible to explain what I'm feeling," he said. "I'm very happy and very proud of my team-mates. Always believe in this moment. We gave everything on the pitch and deserved this moment - we are family. Impossible to explain. Big gift from God I'd like to share with team-mates, friends and family.

"It's about not only me but my team-mates and teamwork. Everyone worked really hard. Too difficult to play here against Ajax but I always believed in my team-mates. Even without key players we did really well. We need to fight in every game like this.

"The football is amazing - it gives us a moment like this. We cannot imagine. The best moment in my life - in my career. I only need to say thank you to my team-mates."

Ajax coach Erik ten Hag was heartbroken for his players, who came within seconds of securing a place in the biggest game in European football.

"We were so close, we had so deserved it, but that last second," he said. "I told the players in the break that it wasn't over yet, you could tell by the attitude of the Tottenham players. They still believed in it.

"When that ball hits the post from Hakim Ziyech, it's over and out for Spurs. But I can't blame anyone. We have had an incredible Champions League season and have grown a lot as a team. It is difficult to process."

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