The club were yesterday drawn against the reigning Italian champions and last season’s UEFA Champions League runners-up Juventus in the last 16 of this seasons competition.
The first leg will be in the Stadio Delle Alpi in Turin on Tuesday 13th February with the return back at Wembley on Wednesday 7th March.
Mauricio Pochettino explained to the club website immediately after the draw that his family originated from Turin.
“It’s fantastic because my family came from Italy, from Turin – unbelievable!” said Mauricio. “My name Pochettino is from Italy. It will be fantastic to go there for the first time.
He added: “It’s a city and a club I’ve always wanted to play and it’s now fantastic to be going to the city of Turin to play against Juventus.”
As well as Mauricio the club also spoke to Hugo Lloris, striker Harry Kane and fellow striker Fernando Llorente, who of course spent two years at Juventus and reached the final of the Champions League with them in 2015, here’s what they had to say about the draw.:
On the draw:”It’s an unbelievable draw, it’s good to play against one of the best teams in Europe. It will be very tough for us – and of course, for them – but that is the Champions League and in this stage there is no easy opponent.”
On the draw… ”I think it’s great excitement for our Club to face one of the biggest clubs in the world. They were twice in the final in the last three years so they’re a real contender for the Champions League. They use their mentality to win and it’s going to be a big test for us. It’s a massive challenge for us and you play in the Champions League to play this kind of game. There is a real sense of excitement from our side and we will try our best to make our fans very proud of us – we will give 100 per cent to go through.”
On the draw… ”This is what the Champions League is all about. We all watched the draw together in the gym and it’s exciting for us – it’s the first time for a lot of us in this stage of the competition. To go far you have to beat the best and we’ve done that in the group stage, now it’s the next step. Home and away it will be tough, we know that, but we’ll use the confidence we gained from the group stage and take that into every game going forward.”
On facing Giorgio Chiellini again… ”He’s a fantastic defender, one of the best I’ve played against in my career so far. Everyone knows how good Italian teams are defensively and Juventus have been great in the Champions League over recent years, so consistent. We know it will be tough but we’re looking forward to it.”
On facing his former club… ”I’m very excited about this draw. I played there for two years and won five titles. I wanted this team (in the draw). I have great memories and I enjoyed my time at the club a lot. It’s one of the biggest clubs in the world. I have a lot of friends there. It will be an amazing game. They are a very good team with very, very good players.”
On our confidence having beaten Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund... ”We can be confident in ourselves because we are a very good team, focused, concentrated, aggressive – we can do amazing things.”
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