Jose Mourinho feels Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino are both deserving of this season’s Champions League trophy.
Both men saw their sides overturn incredible deficits to set-up a Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur final in Madrid on June 1.
2019 Champions League final: Five things to know…
- It will be the second all-English final after Man Utd v Chelsea (2008).
- Spurs are playing in their first European Cup final whilst Liverpool have reached their ninth
- A win for Spurs sees them become the sixth club to win all of UEFA’s three major trophies after Juventus, Bayern Munich, Ajax, Chelsea and Man Utd.
- Liverpool can move to within one of AC Milan’s seven European Cups with both trailing Real Madrid (13).
- Klopp has beaten Pochettino four times in nine previous meetings with the latter winning just once.
The Reds humbled Barcelona 4-0 at Anfield, cancelling the Catalan giants 3-0 semi-final first leg lead, whilst Spurs came from a 3-0 down on aggregate to eliminate Ajax via the away goals rule.
It means a tantalising 10th meeting between two of the Premier League’s most proactive coaches; a head-to-head which Klopp leads 4-1.
Also, looking at the bigger picture, whoever succeeds will secure a first major honour as manager of their respective club (unless Liverpool pips Manchester City to Premier League glory).
One keen observer will be multi-decorated and two-time Champions League-winning coach Jose Mourinho, who can’t decide who should be triumphant between the pair.
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“I will be in trouble in the final because I like Mauricio and Jurgen very, very much and I think they both deserve to win a trophy!” he told beIN Sport.
Next month’s European Cup final will see Klopp and Pochettino square off for the tenth time. All of their previous meetings have come whilst representing Liverpool and Spurs respectively.
The first three, all coming in the Premier League, ended in a stalemate (0-0, 1-1, 1-1). In fact, their first game on October 17, 2015, was Klopp’s inaugural match as Reds boss.
The next four saw Klopp win twice (2-1 and 2-0 both at Anfield in the League Cup and the Premier League) with Poch clinching a 4-1 home win alongside a 2-2 draw. The last two, coming this season in the league, saw Liverpool win 2-1 on both occasions including a dramatic victory at Anfield in March.
So, as things stand, that’s four Klopp wins to Pochettino’s one. However, as we’ve already seen in this season’s Champions League, it ain’t over till it’s over.