Mauricio Pochettino dropped a bit of a bombshell ahead of the second leg of Spurs’ Champions League semifinal matchup with Ajax. At his pre-match press conference, he mentioned it’s possible he would feel the need to seek out a new challenge should they win the tournament this season, calling it a potential “miracle” should they come out victorious.
Spurs trail 1-0 after the home leg, leaving the tie very much in the balance before the second leg in the Netherlands. Spurs were dominated in the first half of the first leg, but recovered to put forth a good effort in the second 45, keeping the matchup even and allowing the team to keep the belief.
“To win the Champions League with Tottenham, in this circumstance, in this season, maybe I need to think a little bit to do something different in the future, for sure,” Pochettino said to the surprise of the attending media. “Because to repeat this miracle, you know.”
Pochettino’s comments were surprising enough that a reporter followed up by asking if he was joking, and he replied, “It’s not a joke, why?”
His comments are stunning considering his name has been mentioned constantly in rumors regarding Manchester United and Real Madrid, among other top clubs across Europe. Both those clubs have recently filled vacancies with permanent hires, but now Pochettino has put other clubs on alert should he win the tournament, or even if they fail to do so, it could signal others that he might be feeling a sense of capped achievements in North London. Manchester United may also hope to pry him away this summer, given how recently appointed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer limped over the finish line this season.
Pochettino said he is relishing the chance to reach the finals, believing Spurs is very much in the match, but they need to perform better than in the first leg. “I think it’s an exciting moment for us to be in a semifinal,” Pochettino said. “I think we need to enjoy and have more freedom to play, and to start the game the way we want to start. The approach was really poor from our side in the first leg. I think we need to feel more freedom to play. We have nothing to lose from the beginning. We know we need to win and try.”
Spurs and Ajax take the field Wednesday, with Liverpool and Barcelona meeting for their second leg match at Anfield on Tuesday.