Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino would not have lasted as long as they have without a trophy in Italy, according to Roberto Mancini.
Klopp took charge of Liverpool in 2015 and has led the club to finals in the League Cup, Europa League and Champions League, but is yet to win a trophy.
Can Klopp end Liverpool’s trophy drought? Five key things to know…
- Jurgen Klopp has turned Liverpool back into a trophy-challenging side since taking charge in 2015.
- The Reds have been in three cup finals in three years both domestically and in Europe, though have lost each time.
- Liverpool’s last trophy came with the 2012 League Cup, but the Reds are close to glory this season.
- Klopp’s men are one point behind leaders Manchester City in the Premier League and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.
- But despite the progress, Roberto Mancini believes Klopp would be “killed” by fans in Italy for his lack of trophies.
This season, the Reds have been contesting for trophies once again, into the Champions League semi-finals and one point behind Premier League leaders Manchester City with two games remaining.
Meanwhile, Pochettino has overseen massive improvements at Tottenham since taking charge in 2014, turning the club into Champions League semi-finalists and constant top four contenders.
But despite the obvious improvements to their respective clubs, Italy manager Mancini believes Klopp and Pochettino would not have lasted in Serie A – in a criticism of the nation.
He told Tutti Convocati: “We exaggerate things in Italy.
“Let’s take this example: Pochettino has been at Tottenham for five years, he has a very good team.
“Tottenham have spent a lot and, in five years, still haven’t won anything. In Italy, they’d have already killed the poor man.
“Instead he’s still there, trying to improve the team every year so they can win things.
“The Champions League isn’t so simple, otherwise we’d have won it so many times. It’s never easy to win.
“Klopp is another, he has been at Liverpool for three years but risks not winning anything, despite them having an exciting season.”
Both Klopp and Pochettino tasted defeat in the first legs of their Champions League semi-finals, though the latter has more reason to be optimistic.
Tottenham Hotspur were beaten 1-0 at home to Ajax but go to Amsterdam next week knowing the tie could be opened with an away goal of their own.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have a harder task after a 3-0 defeat to Barcelona at the Nou Camp.
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Pochettino: Tottenham need trophies
Despite the good work Pochettino has done at Tottenham, the Argentinian does often come under criticism from rival fans for his failure to win a trophy at the club. The 2008 League Cup final remains Tottenham’s most recent taste of glory and they have only reached one League Cup final since.
And though Pochettino admits winning trophies is not important for him as an individual, the Spurs boss understands the club do need the glory.
He told BBC Sport. “I am in football because I love the sport, it’s my passion, but I want to win.
“We need trophies and we need to fight for big things, to have the opportunity to win the Champions League and Premier League.”