Pochettino: I celebrated United goal back in ’99
TOTTENHAM boss Mauricio Pochettino, the favourite to become Manchester United’s next permanent manager, has admitted to celebrating one of their most famous goals.
Pochettino is thought to be United’s first choice to take over from caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who is holding the fort following Jose Mourinho’s sacking last month.
The Argentinian – an Espanyol player at the time – has revealed he was at the Nou Camp in 1999 as Solskjaer’s injury-time goal against Bayern Munich won the Red Devils the Champions League.
The pair will go head-to-head at Wembley tomorrow as Spurs host United in the Premier League.
“I have good memories because I remember when he scored after 90 minutes at the Nou Camp, I was with Tony Jimenez, my goalkeeping coach, we were then at the Nou Camp in 1999,” he said.
“I remember him when he scored the second goal in the injury-time and how I shouted the goal of Manchester United, that was unbelievable. We were neutral people watching a fantastic game. I have good memories of him.
“On Sunday, we are going to meet at Wembley when 20 years ago I was shouting a goal that he scored for Manchester United and now we are going to play them at Wembley.”
Pochettino does think Solskjaer will have added motivation to beat the man who is the favourite to get his job in the summer.
Solskjaer has intimated he would like the job on a permanent basis and a win in the toughest examination of his spell so far could earn him some credit.
“The motivation is always going to be there,” said Pochettino. “Of course, when you’re a manager or coach you cannot be focused on all the rumours. The most important thing is the motivation that we have to do our job in our best way. Of course Manchester is going to come on Sunday trying to win.
“Of course for him it’s a massive motivation or challenge to manage Manchester United, like for me it’s a massive challenge to be in front for this football club, Tottenham.
“Always the motivation is to win because we’re so competitive. We’re people that love to win and hate to lose, and always when you play a friendly or a competitive game like Sunday always it’s about winning.
“No one wants to lose. The motivation is going to be there because in the Premier League always the motivation is about winning.”
Meanwhile, Pochettino compared Christian Eriksen to his beloved dog Sansa. Eriksen has been biding his time on signing a new deal amid reported interest from Real Madrid.
“Christian is a very special person and you need to give him freedom, like on the pitch,” said Pochettino, who regularly waxes lyrical about his Rhodesian Ridgeback.
“You cannot put him in a box. You need to give freedom and trust him. Like my dog, in the park. I trust my dog. I say, ‘Go, I trust you’.
“Christian is a clever person and of course there’s going to be a decision from him, from the club, from different parts and I hope he can be committed to the club long-term.”
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino