ToPlayers at ttenham Hotspur shared a special moment with their families in the run-up to what could be the biggest game of their lives on Saturday.
Stars Harry Kane and Kieran Trippier were spotted by sharing a hug with their other halves at the Wanda stadium in Madrid, Spain, after a training, while the loving fathers Fernando Llorente and Toby Alderweireld played with their children.
The team that has never participated in one Champions League final, plays against the five-time European title winners Liverpool FC – who rode to the 2018 final before losing 3-1 to Real Madrid.
Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino said today, after his team had eliminated Ajax 3-2 in the semi-finals, that it is now up to the players to go out there and make history.
Tottenham star Fernando Llorente greets family members during the training of his team at the Wanda Metropolitan Stadium in Madrid, Spain. Tottenham Hotspur will face Liverpool FC tomorrow in the UEFA Champions League 2019
Harry Kane shares a romantic moment with his fiancé Katie Goodland at the Wanda stadium in Madrid, Spain
Husband Kieran Trippier shares a kiss with his other half, Charlotte, when their child Jacob poses for the camera with a football
Loving father Toby Alderweireld, from Tottenham Hotspur, pictured with family members after team training
Pochettino believes his team has been stress tested during a campaign strewn with complications; from the World Cup, injuries and the transfer market to delays at the new stadium.
& # 39; All those problems have made us stronger as a group, more creative and we have shown that if you believe and work hard in football you will be rewarded & he said.
& # 39; The moment you reach the final, it's about winning the final, & # 39; he said. & # 39; We rely on ourselves. & # 39;
The club in North London, which has not won an English title since the 1960s, made a remarkable run to its first Champions League final after beating Pep Guardiola & Manchester in the quarterfinals and past Ajax in the semi-final ran.
Liverpool, one of the most successful clubs in Europe, also needed some heroic action to return to the final and reverse a 3-0 defeat in the first half against Lionel Messi's Barcelona in the semi-final.
Harry Kane shares a kiss with fiancee Katie Goodland after a Tottenham Hotspur training on the eve of the Champions League final. Liverpool FC, with whom they compete, came to the final last year
Caring family man Fernando Llorente sorts the hair of a family member after the training of his team
Loving father Toby Alderweireld, from Tottenham Hotspur, pictured with family members after team training
Returning from a 3-1 loss for Real Madrid in the Kiev final of last year, manager Klopp said his team had made all the necessary adjustments to win his first European title since 2005.
& # 39; We are much more mature. It's a good thing we're getting older in every way, "said Klopp, who also lost a Champions League final while coaching Borussia Dortmund in 2013.
& # 39; We are a year older, we have players like Trent (Alexander-Arnold) who has 50 more games in his legs, he has more experience in football. & # 39;
Klopp said the team could not take much of the actual final of last year. It was a different opponent and different circumstances, but it gave the team a mental lead at the start of this year's game.
& # 39; The boys performed in that final, it wasn't like we didn't have a chance & # 39 ;, Klopp said.
& # 39; (We played against) a clear favorite, so that was OK, that also helped us. But last year we were a little surprised that we were in the final. We were not as consistent as we are now. That was the most important thing that we had to develop. & # 39;
Klopp plans to make Mohamed Salah available for Saturday's game after missing the second leg of the semi-finals due to a concussion. The Egyptian attacker had to leave the final of last year in the first half due to a shoulder injury.
Toby Alderweireld plays with his family for the training session for the final of the UEFA Champions League
Harry Kane and Katie Goodland during the training session the day before the Champions League final against Liverpool FC
Fernando Llorente laughs with family members after training at the Wanda stadium in Madrid, Spain
Tottenham will face Liverpool FC in the final tomorrow. Liverpool was defeated when they reached the final last year
A final without rogue: it is a final full of guys, but Jurgen Klopp knows that this is his moment
From Martin Samuel – Sport for the Daily Mail
So what if there was no bad guy at High Noon? Two heroes, no villains. There must still be a firefight, there must still be a winner, there must still be a smoking gun and a body must be taken to Boot Hill.
What if the locals, the trembling bystanders, could see both sides when the clock ticked toward a fateful destination and faced Gary Cooper, was not a single black, cruel, murderous outlaw, but a decent man, just like him. Prefer to spoil the script, right?
Welcome to Madrid. Welcome to the Champions League final in 2019.
The Champions League final in Madrid sees two teams, without villains, competing for the honor
Both Jurgen Klopp (left) and Mauricio Pochettino (right) are popular managers for neutrals
Seriously, where is Sergio Ramos when you need it? Where are the petrodollars, or Russian oligarchs, or that gentleman of Juventus who thinks only because he has inherited the family business, then his football club should also inherit all the power, prestige and resources of football forever?
It is clear that the followers of Tottenham and Liverpool have a preference.
Almost certainly, the embittered devotees of Manchester United, Everton and Arsenal will also choose sides. But the rest of us, the majority who will watch this game without skin on Saturday night, will experience the strangest sensation: an absence of partisan emotion, perhaps a strange sloppy grin.
Not born of apathy, because that is very different. Everyone is looking forward to this opportunity, everyone is enthusiastic about the possibilities. But they are not angry about it. They are not liquidated. They really want the best team to win. And they love both teams.
They love both managers. They love both groups of players. They seem like a hard-working party. Not too many superstars. Andy Robertson, Harry Kane, Jordan Henderson, Harry Winks, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Son Heung-min, Danny Rose, Mo Salah. Players who have pulled themselves up by the bootstraps. And they also play good football, everyone.
They deserve this – on both sides. But we know that there cannot be a completely happy ending. Finally, one of the teams that coarse chorus of & # 39; no time for losers & # 39; have to hear and know that it makes fun of them. It will be very difficult to take.
For Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool, especially when things are not going well. His list of disappointments in the final can be overshadowed, but it is impossible to ignore that 26 points have separated these teams in this season's competition, regardless of the proximity of their encounters.
This is a game that Klopp should win, and that is what sets it apart from its previous showdowns.
Klopp has lost his last six finals, divided into two countries and one continent. He lost three with Borussia Dortmund and three with Liverpool. He has lost two Champions League finals, the Europa League final, two German cup competitions and the League Cup.
Klopp knows that Liverpool, despite close encounters with Tottenham, should win the game
Yet he was always the underdog in his defense. If Dortmund had defeated a Bayern Munich team at its peak, at home or in the Champions League final, it would have been an exceptional achievement.
The same thing when Liverpool faced Manchester City, four months after Klopp took the lead over Brendan Rodgers, or when he took on a Sevilla team for the third consecutive Europa League title, or Real Madrid that pursued the same in the Champions League. Even in the final of the German Cup in 2015, when he met Wolfsburg, his opponents were still Bundesliga riders.
These were all games in which Klopp had to overcome the odds. Despite his protests – and which manager is not trying to relieve pressure from his team – things are different on Saturday. Liverpool are favorites. Klopp played Tottenham nine times since he came to England and lost once.
Four wins and four draws, including all six points this season, suggest that he has the lead. Loss and the stigma of missed opportunities will be difficult to avoid. Klopp knows, knows what will be said if he is not a Liverpool manager as a trophy. He knows what is being said now.
& # 39; I see where this is going, & # 39; he muttered when asked what he had learned from previous negative end experiences. & # 39; Look, if I was the reason to lose six in a row, everyone should be worried – but if that's not the case, then we have a chance.
& # 39; What did I learn from last year? That a bicycle kick from 18 meters can be a goal. Of the other finals, nothing really. The circumstances are always different. We had three strange goals against Madrid a year ago: the goal of the season and two others that we usually don't admit.
& # 39; But we've learned a lot in three years together – not just one game. We are much more mature, we have players like Trent Alexander-Arnold experiencing different situations, with another 50 games in his legs. We were surprised that we were in the final a year ago because we were not as consistent as we are now – but our speed, our technical skills, they are all still there from last year. & # 39;
When Klopp was asked to consider whether a manager could have an unfortunate career, he was most animated. & # 39; Do you think I have an unfortunate career? & # 39; he repeated. & # 39; Of course I don't have an unfortunate career. My missus always asks when the last game of the season is, because there is a chance if there is a final where I will be involved.
& # 39; Since 2012 I have been in a final every year since 2017 – I am probably the world record holder in winning semi-finals. If I were to write a book about it, well, probably nobody would buy it. But I am a normal person, so if I sit in a room and think it's all about me, I am the reason we have lost the final, I would see myself as a loser and that would be a problem. The rest, all about winning and losing, is for the outside world. If we win, you think afterwards that I am a winner.
& # 39; But that is not interesting for me. I see all the other things, the things that happened before, the things that happened to be here, and I take the confidence of that. And before I went to these finals, I won all these little things that people no longer find interesting, such as promotion with Mainz.
The Pochettino team hopes that they have not used up all their luck en route to the final
& # 39; We have won those games, we have won many competitions, including in the Champions League. So, yes, in the final there are moments of luck and bad luck, and in the last two Champions League finals I have not had the lucky side, that's right.
& # 39; But how I understand happiness is that when you work for it, you sometimes have it. Not always. But it is not an unfortunate career. I feel good, could have been better, could have been worse. And it's not over yet, so there's time. & # 39;
Mauricio Pochettino probably has the opposite problem, hoping that on the way to Madrid his Tottenham side has not used every available drop of luck, and crosses the path of every black cat to come here.
Not that Spurs are purely happy finalists – they are a good side – more that crucial late goals against PSV Eindhoven, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Ajax and last but not least those conceded to City that was excluded by the smallest margins – represent an order which is probably not repeated.
& # 39; When you start preseason, it's incredible to think you'll be here in 10 months, & # 39; said Pochettino. & # 39; To arrive, that's the hardest part. Then you have to trust that the universe is going well and you win the trophy. So when I see this is the third final of Jurgen Klopp, chapeau. The journey is the most important, the most difficult. And he is always optimistic. & # 39;
Earlier, Klopp had sincerely described Pochettino as & # 39; a nice guy & # 39 ;. He was talking about a positive final between two & # 39; real soccer teams & # 39 ;. & # 39; I am sure it will be a good game, & # 39; he added. & # 39; It's a real football final and now we both have to deal with it because it's very intense. & # 39;
Indeed. But that was also High Noon. At least when Hollywood wrote the scripts, you knew who to look after and who the hero was. Select the bones here.
MARTIN KEOWN & CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL PREVIEW: The Liverpool High Press is a deadly weapon … The key to Tottenham is to beat it
By Martin Keown for the Daily Mail
In September 2016, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: & # 39; no playmaker in the world can be as good as a good counter-press situation. & # 39;
That is his philosophy, and that is what Tottenham must try to defeat. Liverpool likes to get the ball back high on the field and then quickly attack by using the bodies they leave in advanced positions.
We saw that against Barcelona in Anfield in the semi-final of the second stage. Trent Alexander-Arnold won possession on the right wing and less than six seconds later, Liverpool had a goal – as our graph on the right shows.
Jurgen Klopp's counter-pressure philosophy is what Tottenham must defeat on Saturday
The fastest players in the CL this season
21.43 mph: Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool (v Barcelona)
21.37 mph: Leroy Sane, Man City (s Hoffenheim)
21.25 mph: Nemanja Radonjic, Red Star Belgrade (by Red Bull Salzburg)
On the way to this final, the men from Klopp took an average of 2.59 passes in the space of 8.01 seconds when scoring, while the average for the competition was 3.91 passes per goal over 12.56 seconds.
They stifle their opponents. Fabinho is mostly in midfield, but whoever plays alongside him joins the front three in their press.
In the Champions League this season, Ajax won the ball 86 times in the last third – the highest of the European elite competition. Behind them are Liverpool on 70, then Manchester City on 61. In the quarterfinals Tottenham got the better of City over two legs and then defeated Ajax in the semi-final.
Now they have to do the same against Liverpool if they want to close a remarkable season.
Super fast delivery van
Virgil van Dijk is a greyhound. No player in the Champions League has clocked a higher speed this season than he has, so he has the legs to play with balls.
However, it is important to remember that he is only one man. He cannot check the entire backline.
He needs help and I wonder if Klopp might be tempted to breathe new life into Van Dijk's collaboration with fast Joe Gomez. That may seem hard to Joel Matip, but these managers at the highest level are ruthless. Klopp will do what he deems necessary.
Virgil van Dijk clocked the fastest speed of all players in the Champions League this season
The Kane riddle
The semi-final of the Champions League showed us how it's not just about the players and whether they perform well at night. Tactics play a major role. Mauricio Pochettino got his foul against Ajax in the first match. Then he corrected that in the second leg.
You don't get two chances in a final, so he has to do well. The big question is, does he start Harry Kane? I think so. Kane is their king. He leads from the front and everyone follows.
Lucas Moura was great against Ajax, but it could be that he misses. Ruthless decisions must be made.
Mauricio Pochettino faces the difficult decision whether to start Harry Kane
The full backs of Liverpool are probably the best in Europe. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson are used as weapons by Klopp. If you look at today's full backs, it's wingers defending, and that's what these two do.
They work hard and they press high, according to the Klopp system. The danger is that they leave gaps. That is what Tottenham should try to exploit.
Moura is a speed star, just like Son Heung-min, and Dele Alli is no nonsense either. If Spurs can cope with their opponents that they close and hit balls in those empty spaces, then they can have fun in Madrid.
That will test the pace of Liverpool central defenders who have to cover for their entire back.
Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold are probably the best full-backs in Europe
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