Football News

Ronaldinho tips Spurs to win the Champions League

By Ben Green

Published: 18:02, 16 April 2019

Barcelona and Brazil legend Ronaldinho believes Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-0 first leg victory over Manchester City in the quarter-finals proves the club can win the Champions League this season. 

Spurs travel to the Etihad on Wednesday with a slender aggregate lead thanks to Son Heung-min’s solitary second half strike in the opening match.

Can Spurs win the CL? Five key things to know…

  1. Spurs take on Man City in the second leg of their quarter-final tie on Wednesday.
  2. The north London club crucially kept City at bay in the first leg and take a 1-0 lead to the North West.
  3. Mauricio Pochettino says his side are expecting “a completely different game” for the second leg but holds “belief” that Spurs can progress to the semis.
  4. Spurs will be without injured talisman Harry Kane but Pochettino has often utilised Son up front in his absence.
  5. Ronaldinho believes Spurs can revel in their status as the underdog and go on to lift the coveted cup.

Pep Guardiola came in for some criticism following his decision to leave Leroy Sane and Kevin De Bruyne on the bench – bizarrely bringing them on in the 89th minute.

Spurs took full advantage of the questionable tactical tweak from the Catalan coach, preventing the reigning Premier League champions from scoring an away goal.

Pochettino has already conceded his side are preparing themselves to face a “completely different” City side to the one that underperformed in the capital, but former Champions League winner Ronaldinho is backing them to prevail – and go all the way.

He told the Daily Star: “Why can’t Spurs win the Champions League?

“Because they don’t have the history in the competition – or because they have never won it before?

“Every team who has won the Champions Leauge had to win it for the first time once.

“Their result against Manchester City, who are one of the best teams and have some of the best players in the competition, showed that they can compete with the best.

“At this stage they will believe they can go all the way – and if they play as they can then maybe they will.”

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‘Man Utd can beat Barca’

Before the second instalment of the all-British clash, Manchester United take on Barcelona at the Camp Nou, looking to overturn a one-goal deficit against this season’s favourites.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men will look to channel their Turin and Paris exploits and pull off another European miracle, but Barca are currently 30 matches unbeaten in the Champions League on home soil – winning 27 of those.

That said, Ronaldinho – who won the Champions League in 2006 with Barca – believes United can pull off an upset and defy all the odds in Catalonia.

He said: “If Barcelona score it then it will be a long evening for Manchester United.

“But if they (United) can score the first goal then it’s going to make the stadium nervous – and you never know what can happen then.”