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Maurico Pochettino: Return to Tottenham will be 'really special', says Chelsea manager


Mauricio Pochettino

8 months ago
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Mauricio Pochettino says it will be "really special" to return to a club he created "amazing memories" with when his Chelsea side travel to Tottenham.

The Argentine spent five years as Spurs manager before he was sacked in 2019 and led the club to its first Champions League final earlier that year.

He will return to the north London club for the first time in four years with Chelsea on Monday night (20:00 GMT).

"For me, it will be a happy day," Pochettino, 51, said on Friday.

"We are professional but at the same time we are human and we feel.

"It's really special to go back to a place where we created amazing memories together. It's special, I'm not going to lie. That is true.

"When we left the club it was a difficult moment but now I have the opportunity to come back and see many people who are still working there. It will be an exciting moment."

'I've been with my wife for 32 years!' - Pochettino on 'ex' Spurs

Asked whether going back to league leaders Tottenham, whom he considers title contenders this season, would feel similar to seeing a former partner, Pochettino joked: "It's difficult because [I have had] nearly 32 years with my wife and I don't know if I remember or even if I had a girlfriend before."

Following his Tottenham departure, former Espanyol boss Pochettino took over at Paris St-Germain in 2021, where he claimed the first trophies of his managerial career by winning the 2021 Coupe de France and 2022 Ligue 1 title.

He returned to the Premier League with six-time English champions Chelsea in July, tasked with improving the Blues' fortunes following a disappointing 12th-place finish last season.

In a match remembered as the 'Battle of the Bridge', it was at Chelsea in 2016 that Pochettino's Tottenham saw their Premier League title challenge ended by their London rivals, who fought back from 2-0 down to confirm Leicester City's remarkable triumph.

Spurs boss Postecoglou on the return of Pochettino
While Pochettino said he is unsure what reaction he will receive on his return to the club as Chelsea manager, he insisted that would not affect his own feelings towards Tottenham.

"I'm not going to say anything at the moment. Until Monday, we can't guess," Pochettino said.

"We can't forget everything we lived together and I'm going to respect the people and how they feel. It won't change my emotions, my feelings about a club where we had an unbelievable journey.

"I always said that the only clubs I would never manage are Arsenal, because they are considered the worst enemy for Tottenham, and Barcelona, because of Espanyol."

source: BBC