Tottenham Hotspur boss, Mauricio Pochettino, has advised his players they must play like La Liga top scorer and Barcelona superstar, Lionel Messi, when they face Ajax in the return leg of their Champions League clash next Wednesday.
Messi scored two goals against Liverpool in the Champions League at Camp Nou on Wednesday night, including a spectacular free kick that beat Alisson from long range, to inspirs the La Liga champions to a 3-0 win over Jurgen Klopp’s men.
The goal was Messi’s 12th in nine Champions League appearances this season and more memorably, his 600th as a Barcelona player, as the Argentine along with former Reds striker, Luis Suarez, gave Liverpool a mountain to climb if they wish to reach a second successive Champions League final.
"Suarez" ends the drought
Credits: Duta pic.twitter.com/mCos3iQOHv
— Prokez™ (@Pr0kez) May 1, 2019
As for Pochettino’s men, they will go into the second leg of their semi-final needing to score at least two goals to overturn the 1-0 lead Ajax currently hold from the first leg in order to reach a first-ever final in the competition.
And the Spurs boss, according to Goal, has told his players to follow Messi’s footsteps when they come up against the Dutch Eredivisie leaders next week.
“Of course, if we play like him, for sure we are going to have a chance. But not like him doing what he does with the ball, but like him without the ball,” the Spurs boss said.
Pochettino went on to say: “If we play like him without the ball, show the desire that he had yesterday, for sure we are going to have the chances to qualify for the final. If not, no chance.”
The Spurs boss also praised his compatriot for his display over Premier League rival, Liverpool, running out of words in fact. “What can I say about Messi more than I have or others have said? He’s one of the gods of football,” Pochettino said.
He continued: “It’s unbelievable, the desire and the capacity to fight with the ball at his feet and without the ball at his feet… That is a key point and it is so painful, in the other semi-final when you see Messi’s desire and motivation and say, ‘Why weren’t we motivated in the same way?’”
Will the Spurs players be able to raise their game to the level Pochettino is asking of them? Tell us what you think about his comments?