Football: Spurs' Pochettino recalls how he cheered United counterpart Solskjaer's 1999 Champions League final goal

Tottenham Hotspur's head coach Mauricio Pochettino watches his players from the touchline during the English League Cup semi-final first-leg football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in London, on Jan 8, 2019.
Tottenham Hotspur's head coach Mauricio Pochettino watches his players from the touchline during the English League Cup semi-final first-leg football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in London, on Jan 8, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON - Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino revealed on Friday morning (Jan 11) that he was among the 90,245 fans who packed Barcelona's Nou Camp stadium in 1999 to watch Manchester United's fabled 2-1 Champions League final win over Bayern Munich.

And while he insisted he was a neutral - he was a player at Espanyol then - the 46-year-old Argentinian admitted he was thrilled when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored the winning goal deep in injury time.

Pochettino and Solskjaer will be opposite each other on the touchline when Spurs take on United in their Premier League clash at Wembley on Sunday.

"I have good memories (of Solskjaer) because I was there in Camp Nou with Toni Jimenez (former Espanyol teammate) who is now my goalkeeping coach, when he scored after 90 minutes," said the Spurs manager.

"And how I shouted at the goal of Manchester United was unbelievable. We were neutrals watching a fantastic game... so I have good memories of him from 20 years ago, and now we are going to play United at Wembley."

Sunday's clash promises to be an exciting affair between two in-form teams.

Spurs have won nine of their last 11 games in all competitions, with the only defeat being a surprise 3-1 reverse at home to Wolves.

 
 

United, meanwhile, under the charge of caretaker manager Solskjaer, have won five in a row after sacking Jose Mourinho.

Pochettino said he was predicting a tough game that would be "very nice to watch", and declined to say what he felt had changed about United since Mourinho left.

"I have huge respect for Mourinho and Solskjaer, and I cannot talk about what happened (at United)," he said.

"I can only judge the team today, and they are in very good form. To win five games, you build your confidence and self-belief, and ego too. We are going to compete in our best way, I am sure, and it will be tough."