Champions League: Pochettino, Zidane take contrasting roads to the top | Football News


LONDON: When Tottenham clash with Real Madrid in the Champions League at Wembley on Wednesday, the glamour tie will give the backdrop for a interesting touchline duel in between Mauricio Pochettino and Zinedine Zidane.

Tottenham boss Pochettino and Madrid coach Zidane are equally highly regarded managers who have assembled groups able of successful Europe’s elite club prize, but the pair could not have taken extra contrasting journeys to the top of their profession.

Pochettino, 45, has appreciated a impressive transformation from journeyman Argentine defender to coveted coach while Zidane, who is the very same age, is the French Planet Cup winner whose brilliance in his glittering enjoying profession has been adopted by extra accomplishment in the dugout.

With Tottenham and Real level on factors as they struggle it out at the top of Group H, AFP Activity usually takes a appear at the activities that define Pochettino and Zidane:

The son of a Santa Fe farm worker, Pochettino was brought up with a tenacious operate ethic that fuelled his rise from all those humble roots.

“As a boy, all I considered about was football, football, football. It was every thing,” Pochettino mentioned.

Preventing to claw out a profession as an uncompromising defender was no hardship for Pochettino, who built his qualified debut with Newell’s Previous Boys in 1988 and gained the Argentine Primera Division in 1991.

Pochettino’s rugged standing attained him a shift to Espanyol in 1994 but he toiled in relative anonymity in Spain, successful only the Copa del Rey in 2000.

Zidane savoured some of his best moments on the worldwide stage but Pochettino gained only 20 caps and his most memorable contribution was to concede the penalty that led to England’s 1- gain in excess of Argentina at the 2002 Planet Cup.

When Pochettino experienced a rural childhood, Zidane was raised on the mean streets of Marseille’s La Castellane district, exactly where he forged his powerful blend of balletic grace on the ball with a road fighter’s mentality.

Immediately after studying his trade at Cannes and Bordeaux, the midfield maestro recognized himself as a celebrity while performing less than Juventus boss Marcello Lippi.

“Lippi was like a gentle change for me. Just before that football was about taking pleasure in myself. Immediately after I arrived in Turin, the desire to gain issues took in excess of and never ever left me,” Zidane mentioned.

When Pochettino’s trophy cupboard gathered dust, Zidane hoovered up two Serie A titles with Juventus in advance of helping Real’s star-studded “galaticos” gain La Liga and the Champions League.

The latter silverware was secured thanks to Zidane’s chic strike in the 2002 ultimate versus Bayer Leverkusen, while his majestic displays led France to glory at the 1998 Planet Cup and 2000 European Championship.

Massively influenced by Marcelo Bielsa, his coach at Newell’s Previous Boys, Pochettino applied all those lessons to seize his likelihood when Espanyol came calling in 2009.

Preserving Espanyol from relegation, Pochettino stored them afloat for a different two many years with little financial commitment in the squad.

The supply to manage Southampton in 2013 was a “aspiration” for Pochettino, who gained in excess of his squad irrespective of intensive coaching sessions which led Jack Cork to say you will need “two hearts” to enjoy for him.

Immediately after taking Southampton to eighth position in his second time, Pochettino was employed by Tottenham in 2014, leading them to 3rd and second position in the past two many years.

Obsessive about each detail, Pochettino even chooses the specific laundry detergent utilised to clean the to start with-workforce kit, while he bombards gamers with motivational text messages working day and night.

“To me, if a player doesn’t operate tough for the workforce, he will not enjoy. Almost nothing transpires by likelihood,” he mentioned.

Pochettino remains devoid of a trophy in his managerial profession, while Zidane appeared to have been parachuted into the aspiration circumstance when he was appointed Real boss in January 2016.

Zidane’s only prior expertise experienced been as assistant to previous Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, in advance of a temporary spell as the club’s reserve coach.

However Zidane has experienced the Midas touch, leading Real to 7 trophies, including Champions League crowns in 2016 and 2017 and the La Liga title very last time.

Just times immediately after successful coach of the calendar year at FIFA‘s awards gala, Zidane is confronted with a seeking take a look at of his coaching credentials.

Beaten by minnows Girona on Sunday, Real are eight factors guiding La Liga leaders Barcelona, forcing Zidane to confess he nonetheless has substantially to learn.

“I really don’t consider I am the best in the environment. I am fortunate to be at the best club in the environment with the best gamers,” he mentioned.


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