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Mauricio Pochettino revelled in Solskjaer’s Champions League glory

Mauricio Pochettino revelled in Solskjaer’s Champions League glory
By PA Sport

11/01/2019 at 14:52Updated 11/01/2019 at 16:25

Opposite number Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored that famous goal in Barcelona in 1999.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, the man who is favourite to become Manchester United’s next permanent manager, has admitted to celebrating their most famous goal.

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 on Sunday 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.

Mauricio Pochettino File Photo

“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.

Soccer/Solskjaer celebration

“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 game 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,” Pochettino, who regularly waxes lyrical about his Rhodesian Ridgeback, said.

“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’.

“And Christian is a very 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.

Cardiff City v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League – Cardiff City Stadium

“We hope that he can be here for a long time. I think Christian is a fantastic player.

“I was in Copenhagen in the summer. I spent time with Jesus (Perez), my wife and Christian – very nice restaurant.

“We all hope that Christian will agree with the club a long-term contract because he’s a great player.

“But like I explained a few weeks ago, in football it’s about timings, negotiations, different parties and how they feel.

“Of course, it’s his right to wait, to sign this week or in six months, to have different dreams and challenges.

“For me, it’s not a point to discuss. He’s committed to us, he’s playing so well. I’m so happy with him.”