Toby Alderweireld has been discussing this weekends Champions League final, his own personal heartache, and his plans for the future at the club.
The Belgian international is entering the final year of his contract at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, with a £25m release clause becoming active this summer, with the 30-year-old a long-term target for Manchester United.
Despite the speculation about his future, Alderweireld says he expects to be at Spurs next season, and has been discussing the preparations for this weekend’s Champions League final against Liverpool.
“In my head, I will play for Spurs next season,” Alderweireld told the Telegraph.
“In the last couple of weeks we’ve been trying like animals, you know like positive. We’re trying to give our best every day because that is the way we need to work to be in our best state for the final. Everybody wants to be there, to be involved and give their best, and the final is not going to start [on] Saturday – it started two weeks ago.”
“I think we have quite a mature group so I don’t have to talk too much… a lot of players have played in really big games, World Cups and stuff like this so we know what to do. Of course the tension will get more as the week goes on but we have the maturity in our group and that is not a problem.”
Saturday’s showpiece will be Alderweireld’s second appearance in the final of Europe’s biggest competition, having been part of the Atletico Madrid side that was beaten by city rivals Real Madrid in 2014.
The defender is keen to exorcise those demons by lifting the trophy this weekend, admitting losing on such a big occasion is ‘very hard’ to take.
“The feeling of losing, not winning it, is very hard. I will take this feeling to the final and show I want it more than anyone else.”