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Mauricio Pochettino: Even if Tottenham fans boo me, return with Chelsea will be ‘happy day’

Mauricio Pochettino admits his return to Tottenham will be ‘special’ but is unsure what kind of reception he will receive.

The Chelsea boss returns to Tottenham on Monday for the first time since being sacked in November 2019 – five months after leading the club to the Champions League final.

Chelsea boss Pochettino is excited to make his long-awaited return to Tottenham

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Chelsea boss Pochettino is excited to make his long-awaited return to TottenhamCredit: Getty

Pochettino became a cult figure at the north London club and has been linked with a move back on multiple occasions.

But a move to London rivals Chelsea this summer quashed any rumours of a romantic return to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and the Argentine could now face a frosty reception.

Regardless of that, Pochettino says it will be a happy day for him when he walks in front of his old faithful prior to kick off.

“I’m not going to say anything at the moment because until Monday we cannot guess,” he told reporters when asked what reception he expects.

“The most important, is people know we cannot forget what we lived together. It won’t change my emotions, my feelings about a club where we spent an unbelievable journey.

“It will be strange to come back, for me it will be a happy day.”

After leaving Spurs, Pochettino took a sabbatical from management before taking the managerial position at former club Paris Saint-Germain.

A difficult 18-month in the French capital came to an end in 2022 and whilst Spurs were suffering their own ups and downs with managerial recruitment, Pochettino insists the opportunity never arrived to return to the club.

Pochettino spent five years in charge at Tottenham and led them to the Champions League final in 2019

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Pochettino spent five years in charge at Tottenham and led them to the Champions League final in 2019

“No,” he said when quizzed on whether he had been approached about a return. “After we finished our relationship with Paris Saint Germain, we wanted to be one year away from football and then arrived the offer from Chelsea.”

The Chelsea boss concedes Monday’s fixture will be a special one for him personally and is looking forward to seeing former colleagues he was unable to say goodbye to at the time of his sacking.

The man at the centre of his dismissal was Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and despite a difficult end to their working relationship at the club, Pochettino heaped praise on Levy for handing him the opportunity to showcase his managerial capabilities.

“For me, [Levy is] the most important person because he gave me and my coaching staff the possibility to be in Tottenham,” he added.

“Not only a professional relationship, a friendly relationship. Too many memories together, it was an amazing journey, only to say thank you to experience great things, like to build the new stadium. Playing in White Hart Lane, Wembley and Milton Keynes in the same year, an amazing project, only I can say thank you.”


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