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Mauricio: "Fernando said 'gaffer, I made my debut against you!'"

Posted on 7 September 2017  - 03:00

Mauricio Pochettino was quickly reminded about the first time he came face-to-face with Fernando Llorente as the pair met up again as manager and player at Hotspur Way this week.

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That was all the way back in 2005 - when they were rivals in La Liga!

Mauricio explained: “Fernando told me a few days ago...he said ‘gaffer do you remember I made my debut against you?’ and I said ‘when I was manager?’ and he said ‘no, when you played’ and it was true!

“He even remembered the day - 12 January 2005!”

It was a 1-1 draw between striker Fernando’s Athletic Bilbao and defender Mauricio’s Espanyol in La Liga.

Asked if he remembered the encounter as well, Mauricio added: “Of course, I said to him straight away ‘you didn’t score against me!’”

Mauricio is delighted to see his former adversary at the Club.

Now 32, Fernando - pictured above in training with Juan Foyth - has seen it all, won the World Cup with Spain in 2010, 111 goals in 327 matches for Athletic Bilbao, two Serie A titles with Juventus, Champions League finalist 2015, Europa League winner with Sevilla in 2016 and his 15 goals helped Swansea stave off relegation last season.

“First of all he’s a great professional, a World champion with Spain, a great character - he’s the perfect fit for us,” added Mauricio.