Mauricio Pochettino denies supporting Man Utd – but celebrated Champions League final win!
The Tottenham manager was in the Nou Camp and leapt to his feet when United famously came from a goal down to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 with two injury-time goals.
On Sunday the two men come head-to-head at Wembley in what is being billed as a job interview between the favourites for the permanent Manchester United manager’s job.
Not surprisingly, then, Pochettino made it absolutely clear that he was an impartial observer that night alongside Espanyol team-mate and current Tottenham goalkeeper coach Toni Jimenez.
“I was there with Toni watching a fantastic game as a neutral,” he said. “But how I shouted for the Manchester United goal was incredible.
“To be honest, I don’t know how we found the tickets.
“I remember that we were in a very bad place, and we started to walk around the stand of the Camp Nou.
“We were in front, in the same level but in front of the VIP area.
“We found two seats there and we sat. It was fantastic.
“It was in the second half. We were watching there and enjoying the game of course.
“It was 90 minutes when Teddy Sheringham scored, when Peter Schmeichel went up to the penalty box.
“And we said ‘wow, amazing game, now injury time’.
“And then, when Solskjaer scored, we were shouting, celebrating, I don’t know why, because in that moment we were neutral.
“But the atmosphere was amazing. And now it is a coincidence that we are meeting 20 years later.”
That night in Barcelona will be cast far from the thoughts of either manager at Wembley.
So, too, will the speculation linking Pochettino with a summer move to Manchester United.
“You cannot be focused on the rumours,” he said.
“Only to do our job in the best way.
“For Ole it’s a massive motivation and challenge to manage Manchester United like it is for me to manage Tottenham.”We are competitive. We love to win and hate to lose. No-one wants to lose.”