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‘Proud’ Pochettino admits Spurs efforts in Champions League ‘wasn’t enough’

Mauricio Pochettino has admitted that his Spurs side wasn’t quite good enough in their bid to become European Champions as they slipped to a 2-0 loss to Liverpool in Madrid.

After all the hype and build-up, ultimately, the Champions League final was a bit of a damp squib that was lacking a great deal of quality. However, in the all Premier League affair in Madrid, it was Liverpool who were ultimately crowned European champions for a sixth time thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi.

Salah got Liverpool off to the perfect start, converting from the penalty spot inside the first two minutes after Moussa Sissoko was contentiously adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box.

Spurs had plenty of opportunities to draw themselves level throughout the game, but following on from his heroics against Barcelona, substitute Divock Origi came off the bench to ensure that the European Cup would be heading to the North West of England rather than the South East to round off a 2-0 win in Madrid.

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Speaking on the pitch after the game, Mauricio Pochettino said that while he was ‘very proud’ of his team, he admitted that their efforts simply weren’t enough and challenged his side to reach the Champions League final again, just as Liverpool had done.

“I feel very proud about their effort, how we fight,” the Argentine told BT Sport.

“We were unlucky, we concede a goal on a penalty. We were fighting, and we played so well in the second half. I feel so proud, a little bit unlucky. To start 1-0 down from the start was tough, we changed our plans but we are very proud of these players and these fans. We can be optimistic.

“That [penalty] was the circumstance we cannot manage or prepare for. You can never believe you will be 1-0 down after a minute. Mentally it was very tough, it’s about learning and [gaining] experience – like Liverpool were in this position last year.

“I am so pleased to manage this group of players, but congratulations to Liverpool.

“The standards are so high, it wasn’t enough today. It’s a shame. You want to experience this again and repeat it. It is the best game in the world after the World Cup.

“It’s about trying, believing and building the journey so it happens again as soon as possible.”