Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino: Ernesto Valverde axe spurred me into coaching


Messi Slams Barca Defence Lionel Messi Slams FC Barcelona Defence 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 > by Kurt Buckerfield

Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi continue to set the bar, and Kane believes that's a motivating factor.

A Champions League blockbuster is nearly upon us - but how much do YOU know about the two clubs ahead of their Wembley showdown?

Tottenham striker Harry Kane hopes he can one day emulate, and perhaps break, the goalscoring records of Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.

"It would be great, I'd love every minute of it if I take the match ball home, but, hopefully, it would be nice to score and help us win the game".

Pochettino accepts Messi will be Barcelona's biggest threat. We are capable of matching Real Madrid and Barcelona.

"I started to hear about him when I was at Espanyol - a small guy playing in the academy in Barcelona", Pochettino said.

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"I've been asked this question many, many times", he said. Then when somebody shows you the reality, it can surprise you.

"After many years, I'm going to face the coach who gave me the opportunity to be a coach myself".

"I feel so identified with the club and its colours that I won't change - and I don't know if Barca would want me".

Pochettino, whose Spurs side face Barca at Wembley on Wednesday, was captain of Espanyol when Valverde took charge in 2006 but was axed from the team and retired from playing soon afterwards.

At the club's open training session on Tuesday, a host of top names were nowhere to be seen - Dele Alli, Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele, Christian Eriksen, Serge Aurier and Michel Vorm. What we need is to have players helping each other.

The Argentine will go up against Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, and a former striker who represented both the Lilywhites and Catalan giants, Gary Lineker, had nothing but praise for the 31-year-old recently.

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