A disappointed Mauricio Pochettino expressed how immensely proud he was of his players after they fell to 2-0 to Liverpool in the Champions League final tonight in Madrid. Pochettino was gracious in defeat, but didn’t want to get bogged down in the weeds of instant analysis after a turgid match that was marred by a controversial handball penalty after just 26 seconds.
“I want to congratulate Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp and their players. They made a fantastic season. We need to be clever now and after a very painful game like this it’s about being building for the next period of your life.
“Now is impossible to talk [about the match]. We are so disappointed. We are so proud. Our players and our fans gave everything in the final game of the season. Overall I thought we dominated the game and created some chances, but we didn’t score. It was so painful but at the same time we need to be calm in the way that we analyse things. We did so well this season.
”We’ve been playing against a team that 3 or 4 years ago was being designed to reach finals, not necessarily to win them, but to get to them. We are a team that has priorities that is shared with the sporting area. We looked at the qualities of our players but it would have been incredible to have won this trophy and surprised people because Tottenham prioritised their stadium and spent zero on transfers. We’re not the smartest in the class but not the stupidest either.”
It’s likely that additional context will come from Pochettino and other Spurs players in the coming days, as it’s completely understandable that they would want to take some time to process the loss. Pochettino also refused to be drawn into discussions about his Tottenham future, which also makes sense because seriously, who asks that after a Champions League final defeat, f—k you:
“I think it’s not a moment now to talk too much. You can interpret things in different ways. People want to compare me with different managers but we are in a different project in a different place.
“After five years in Tottenham it was so clear the project. Our ambition was amazing and the commitment of our players amazing, providing us with our first ever Champions League final.
“Now it’s to be calm, change our mind and have time to talk.”
The offseason officially begins now for Tottenham, and the early signs are that they are expecting to have a busy transfer window this summer. A report emerged this morning from Gianluca DiMarzio that Spurs had levied a €70m bid for Real Betis’ Giovani Lo Celso, and Spurs are also heavily linked with Tanguy Ndombele, Ryan Sessegnon, and the likes of Max Aarons, Youri Tielemans, and Joachim Andersen.