Football News

UEFA grant Mauricio Pochettino’s unusual request about Spurs’ pre-match team photo

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 16:34, 1 June 2019

UEFA have confirmed Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur will have their substitutes in the pre-Champions League final squad photo following a request from Mauricio Pochettino.

This will be the second time a European Cup final will be contested exclusively by English teams after the Moscow showdown between Manchester United and Chelsea in 2008.

2019 Champions League final: Five things to know…

  1. It will be the seventh Champions League final to feature two teams from the same association.
  2. Tottenham Hotspur are playing in their first European Cup final.
  3. This will be Liverpool’s ninth final and second under Jurgen Klopp.
  4. Liverpool are seeking a sixth crown, which puts them only behind AC Milan (7) and Real Madrid (13) in the all-time standings.
  5. Both teams produced stunning comebacks in the semi-finals.

Both teams produced stunning comebacks in the semi-finals; Liverpool overturned a 3-0 first-leg deficit against Real Madrid whilst Spurs came from 3-0 down on aggregate to deny Ajax a first Champions League final appearance since 1996.

From a Spurs perspective they had to use the full extent of their squad, especially as they never dipped into the transfer market this season. Pochettino went into their semi-final with Ajax missing Heung-min Son (suspended) and top scorer Harry Kane (injured).

Seeing those on the periphery, such as Lucas Moura and Fernando Llorente, come in and do a job has led Pochettino to ask UEFA to alter their protocol regarding team photos – which they have now agreed to.

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“It’s painful to only use the 11 players. I proposed a few weeks ago for the whole squad to be in the photo. UEFA listened and I think both teams will have that possibility,” he told reporters.

“We talk about a lot of problems in England and tomorrow we can show millions of people the value of togetherness.

“Football is a collective sport and the 25 players are so important. The energy of the players not playing will also be decisive in the changing room.”

Impossible dream

By reaching their first European Cup final, Spurs can become only the second London team to win Europe’s premier club tournament after Chelsea.

Their run to Madrid has been defying the odds. In the group phase Spurs failed to win in any of their opening three games before leapfrogging Inter Milan to finish behind Barcelona.

Borussia Dortmund were brushed aside in the round of 16 however going through against Manchester City (quarter-final) and Ajax (semi-finals) on the away goals rule.

In both their previous games against Liverpool this season they fell to a 2-1 defeat.