Mauricio faces the media in Madrid
Fri 31 May 2019, 21:47|Tottenham Hotspur
Mauricio Pochettino wants the players to play with freedom in the Champions League Final, ‘like when you were young, a child at seven or eight’.
The long preparation is almost over - the Premier League finale was on 12 May - and we step out for the first time in European football’s showpiece against Liverpool at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano tomorrow night (Saturday 1 June, 8pm UK).
Mauricio spoke to the world’s media at his pre-match conference at the stadium ahead of the squad’s final training session on Friday night.
“The most important thing is to be ready, to feel the emotion and to be free, to play like when you were young, a child at seven, eight, to play with that freedom,” he said. “The key is not to think that there will be one billion people watching you, but to enjoy, to run, to talk together, to help each other, good communication.
“The moment you get to a final it’s about winning the final. We trust ourselves, respect our opponent because Liverpool are a great team, with Manchester City the best in England. One year ago they were in the final and they deserve full credit.
“Tomorrow it’s about enjoying and trying to win because if we want to try to write history, tomorrow is about winning.”
Naturally, Mauricio was asked about the fitness of Harry Kane and whether or not the striker would start having returned to full training after an ankle injury.
He replied: “It’s not going to be easy taking a decision tomorrow but it was difficult in the last game we played and in the quarter-final and in the semi-final. In every single game we have to make decisions. Tomorrow is another decision.
“For sure, we have all the information. We know every single detail and we are going to take the best decision to try to win. Always in football it’s so painful when this type of game arrives. You can only use 11 players from the beginning. All decisions are important, but it’s part of my job to select the starting 11 and try to win the game.”