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Remembering the Spurs XI that lost the Champions League final to Liverpool

Liverpool and Tottenham meet in the Premier League this weekend with both sides clinging on to fading hopes of securing Champions League football.

Both sides are facing an absence from Europe’s elite competition next season, just four years after the two teams met in an all-English Champions League final.

Liverpool were crowned European champions for a sixth time after a 2-0 win at Madrid’s Metropolitano Stadium, as goals from Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi secured the Champions League for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

 

As the teams meet again this weekend, we’ve remembered Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs XI that lost the 2019 Champions League final to Liverpool.

Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris

Hugo Lloris has spent more than a decade at Spurs and captained the club to their first ever Champions League final. It began in nightmare fashion as the north Londoners conceded after just two minutes, a goal that Pochettino’s team were unable to recover from in Madrid.

Lloris has made 447 appearances for Spurs in all competitions, a record for a foreign footballer. He has failed to win silverware with the club to date however, and missed out on Champions League success just a year after leading France to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

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Right-back: Kieran Trippier

The UEFA Champions League final was Kieran Trippier’s last appearance for Spurs, coincidentally at the stadium where he would play his club football the following season after a summer move to Atletico Madrid.

Trippier’s exit came as a surprise after four seasons of excellent service at Spurs, but proved a good decision for the defender as the England international won the La Liga title with Atleti during the 2020/21 campaign.

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He returned to the Premier League to sign for Newcastle in January 2022 and is currently part of an impressive Magpies side pushing for Champions League qualification. A 6-1 thrashing of his former side last weekend has put Newcastle in pole position to reach Europe’s elite for the first time since 2002/03.

Centre-back: Toby Alderweireld

One-half of an all-Belgian pairing at centre-back, Alderweireld spent six seasons at Spurs and was named in the PFA Team of the Season during his debut campaign in north London in 2015/16.

A reliable presence, Alderweireld was regarded as one of the Premier League’s best defenders during his time at Spurs, in which he made 236 appearances in all competitions.

He departed to sign for Qatari side Al-Duhail SC in 2021, but spent just one season in the Middle East before returning to his homeland with Belgian Pro League club Royal Antwerp.

Centre-back: Jan Vertonghen

Jan Vertonghen proved one of Spurs’ best transfer deals of the Premier League era, having signed for the north Londoners in a £10m deal before providing eight seasons of stellar service.

A modern defender comfortable in possession and progressing the ball forward, he was twice named in the PFA Team of the Year and was included in the Champions League’s Squad of the Season after Spurs’ run to the 2019 final.

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The 36-year-old is currently back in Belgium with Anderlecht after two seasons at Benfica upon leaving Spurs. Vertonghen is the most capped player in the history of the Belgium national side with 147 international appearances.

Left-back: Danny Rose

Danny Rose spent 14 seasons at Spurs after signing for the club in a £1m deal from Leeds as a teenager.

The left-back scored a stunning goal on his Premier League debut against Arsenal and went on to establish himself as an England international. He earned inclusion in the PFA Team of the Year in consecutive campaigns in 2015/16 and 2016/17, thriving as an attack-minded full-back under Mauricio Pochettino.

Rose fell out of favour the following season and was left out of the club’s Premier League squad under Jose Mourinho, failing to revive his fortunes during spells at Newcastle (loan) and Watford. He was released following the latter’s relegation last season and, at just 32, remains without a club.

Midfield: Harry Winks

Harry Winks fulfilled a lifelong ambition when representing Spurs in a Champions League final, having joined the club he supported as a child, aged just five, before progressing through the ranks.

He cemented himself in the team under Mauricio Pochettino and helped Spurs dominate the ball in the first half of the final, ending the opening 45 minutes with 65% possession. Winks – who has won 10 caps for England – has spent the 2022/23 campaign on loan at Sampdoria after being deemed surplus to requirements in north London.

He was substituted after 66 minutes of the final for Lucas Moura.

Midfield: Moussa Sissoko

Sissoko was at the centre of the early drama after the midfielder conceded a penalty inside 22 seconds. The Frenchman was penalised after Sadio Mane’s cross hit his outstretched arm, allowing Mohamed Salah to slam home an early opener from the spot.

It was a harsh moment for Sissoko, whose performances in Europe had seen him named in the Champions League Squad of the Season for 2018/19 and as Tottenham’s Legends’ Player of the Season at the club’s end-of-season awards. He was substituted late on in the final with Eric Dier introduced as his replacement.

Sissoko had signed for Spurs in a £30m deal from Newcastle in 2016 and also represented Watford in the Premier League before returning to France with current club Nantes.

Midfield: Christian Eriksen

Christian Eriksen is recognised as one of Tottenham’s finest talents of the Premier League era and produced an excellent season in 2018/19.

The Denmark midfielder scored 10 goals and laid on 17 assists in all competitions for Spurs, while his performances in Europe saw him finish as runner-up to Ajax’s Frenkie de Jong for the UEFA Champions League Midfielder of the Season award.

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Eriksen moved on to Inter Milan in search of a new challenge in 2021 and won a Serie A title under Antonio Conte. He was later fitted with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator after suffering a cardiac arrest while representing Denmark at Euro 2020. His recovery and return at Brentford and Manchester United has been one of the feel-good footballing stories of recent years.

Forward: Dele Alli

Dele Alli’s decline has been astonishing in recent seasons, with the midfielder once the most exciting young talent in the Premier League. Alli made an immediate impact at Spurs after arriving from MK Dons as a teenager, as he won back-to-back PFA Young Player of the Year awards.

Alli’s goalscoring from midfield saw him emerge as a key figure for club and country, but issues with form and fitness have since seen his fortunes decline. He struggled under a number of managers following Pochettino’s departure and was allowed to leave for Everton on an initial free transfer in January 2022.

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After again failing to make an impression, he signed on loan for Besiktas during 2022/23. A season in Turkey has failed to get his career back on track and Alli’s future now appears uncertain.

He had the best chances for Spurs during their 2019 Champions League final defeat, before Fernando Llorente replaced him for the final nine minutes.

Forward: Son Heung-min

One of just four players from Spurs’ final XI that remains on the club’s books, Son Heung-min has been one of the Premier League’s best forwards in recent seasons.

The South Korean has been an electric presence for Spurs and has formed a formidable understanding with Harry Kane, with no Premier League pairing having ever combined for more goals.

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Son became the first Asian footballer to win the Premier League’s Golden Boot in 2021/22 and recently became the first Asian to score a century of Premier League goals, underlining his status as one of his continent’s finest footballing exports.

Forward: Harry Kane

Harry Kane’s fitness was the major talking point heading into the final with the England captain having not featured since the quarter-final win over Manchester City almost two months earlier.

Kane looked short of full fitness during an ineffective performance that saw him touch the ball just 26 times and muster only one shot, with the decision to select the forward over Lucas Moura – a hat-trick goalscorer in the semi-final win over Ajax – one Pochettino might regret in hindsight.

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Kane’s search for team silverware has continued despite a wealth of individual accolades that include three Premier League Golden Boots. He is now the all-time leading scorer for Spurs (274) and England (55) after passing both records this season. The Premier League record is now within his sights after becoming just the third player, after Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney, to reach 200 goals in the division.

Read – Tactical Analysis: Why Mauricio Pochettino to Chelsea makes sense

Read Also – Remembering Johan Cruyff’s iconic Barcelona Dream Team

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