Lamela tar­gets Spurs his­tory – in foot­steps of Ardiles and Villa

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Football -

Satur­day’s Cham­pi­ons League final. How­ever, af­ter a tor­rid few years which forced him to ques­tion his fu­ture af­ter troubles with hip in­juries, he is grate­ful to fea­ture at all the Wanda Metropoli­tano sta­dium.

“The worst mo­ment was the in­jury to my hips,” he said at Tot­ten­ham’s open day ahead of fly­ing to Madrid. “For so long I was not able to play, longer than I want to re­mem­ber. It was a very tough time. Now get­ting to the final is like a present for me for all that hap­pened. I am en­joy­ing it be­cause I know the bad things that can hap­pen in foot­ball. We have worked so hard to get to the final. We’re not lucky to be here. We de­serve it for the way we have played and bat­tled.”

In­juries have been a per­sis­tent theme through Lamela’s time at Tot­ten­ham. He missed a year from 2016 to 2017 with a hip prob­lem, and is now ap­pre­ci­at­ing ev­ery op­por­tu­nity.

“For a long time I had to ac­cept I couldn’t play and that was very frus­trat­ing for me,” he said. “There were a lot of bad pe­ri­ods. That is why I am en­joy­ing my­self pre­par­ing for this game. I am train­ing with a smile. I am so happy to be a part of this.”

Lamela says he feels no nerves ahead of tak­ing on Jur­gen Klopp’s side, who are favourites to lift the cup. “I think it is a game we have to en­joy,” he said. “When we were young we dreamed of play­ing these games and now we have the op­por­tu­nity. We need to work hard and fo­cus this week, and when we get to the sta­dium and get on to the pitch we need to know what our re­spon­si­bil­i­ties are.

“But we need to en­joy and try to take the op­por­tu­nity to be part of his­tory for this club. We have a great op­por­tu­nity with this game. We have to en­joy it.”

Be­com­ing a father, he says, has changed his life. “My son is the most im­por­tant thing in my life. Foot­ball is foot­ball, but life is life. I am so happy at be­ing a father and reach­ing the Cham­pi­ons League final. Hope­fully, I can be even hap­pier on Satur­day night.”

Mean­while, Tot­ten­ham are be­lieved to have tabled a £53mil­lion of­fer for highly-rated Real Betis mid­fielder Gio­vani Lo Celso.

The fee, which would break the club’s trans­fer record, sig­nals the start of a busy summer of re­cruit­ment for Spurs, who have not signed a player for 18 months. They will face com­pe­ti­tion for the 23-year-old Ar­gen­tine in­ter­na­tional, with other Pre­mier League and La Liga clubs in­ter­ested. Lo Celso, who has an £88 mil­lion re­lease clause, scored 16 goals and reg­is­tered six as­sists in 45 games for Betis last sea­son.

Tot­ten­ham’s last sign­ing was in Jan­uary 2018, when they paid PSG £23 mil­lion for Lu­cas Moura. Their record sign­ing is Davin­son Sanchez for £42 mil­lion from Ajax in Au­gust 2017.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.