Most Tottenham Hotspur supporters are probably pretty ok with the result of today’s Champions League final. Some might have been rooting for Liverpool, and that’s okay too — fandom is weird!
But Real Madrid winning their third consecutive Champions League title did have a side benefit for Spurs. They are now confirmed in Pot 2 of the Champions League draw for the 2018-19 tournament, and that’s a good thing.
This is what the UCL Pots look like IF REAL MADRID win the Final and the highest ranked teams per UEFA country coefficient make it through qualifying stages. pic.twitter.com/Vc6yRVNoKC— UEFA Calculator (@UEFACalculator) May 21, 2018
Last season, Spurs were in Pot 3, which depending on the way the teams fall can be a pretty scary place to be. And in fact, Spurs ended up in the Group of Death after being drawn in a group that included Madrid, Dortmund, and APOEL. The fact that they won that group is as much a testament to how good Spurs were as it is to the overall strength of the group. In short, in most years if you’re a Premier League team you don’t want to be in Pot 3, because you can potentially draw two scary teams in your group.
Had Liverpool won the Champions League final, they would’ve leapfrogged Spurs into Pot 2, pushing them down into Pot 3 again. But they didn’t, and the overall quality of the pots this time around means that Spurs are very unlikely to end up in another Group of Death.
Yes, they have a very good chance of drawing someone very good like Barcelona, Juventus, Madrid, PSG, or Bayern. Being in Pot 2 means they’ll avoid (for now) clubs like Napoli, Dortmund, or Porto, and the only super scary club that nobody will want to face in Pot 3 is Liverpool, and Spurs can’t draw them. A Tottenham group that includes Barcelona, Roma, and Hoffenheim could make supporters swallow a little harder than normal, but right now there aren’t too many paths that lead to super difficult match-ups.
Edit: this also isn’t the final list of pots. There’s a chance that Roma and/or Liverpool could slide up into Pot 2 as well as Benfica and Basel still have to go through the qualification process.
So thanks, Real! You gave us two hilarious goals and one amazing one, you left Liverpool fans in tears, and you ensured that Spurs will have a more favorable draw in the Champions League next fall. Job done. Hala Madrid!