Sunday February 11 2018
Llorente: 'Tottenham is Pochettino'

Fernando Llorente explains why Juventus ought to worry about facing Tottenham in the Champions League and praises Mauricio Pochettino.

Tottenham have impressed in the Champions League, pushing title holders Real Madrid into second place in their group.

“We are a young side, but we’re growing and have already beaten Real Madrid this season. We dream of going all the way and know that to achieve that, we must beat the best, starting from Juventus,” the striker told Tuttosport newspaper. You can read the rest of his interview here.

“The Champions League is a strange tournament, as anything could happen. The same goes for Juve: if they get past us, they can triumph in this tournament.”

Who will Llorente swap shirts with at the final whistle?

“I’ll bring a whole bag just of my jerseys!”

Harry Kane’s remarkable form means that Llorente is unlikely to start in Turin.

“It’s difficult because he is one of the best in the world. He scored 56 goals in a calendar year, more than Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. That says it all, right?

“Kane is the complete striker, very good with his back to goal and can find the net out of nowhere. He has a radar in his mind that shows him where the goal is. Harry is also super professional, much like Chiellini. He’s happy here, pays attention to every detail so he can improve. He’s great, but you’ll see he will get even better.

“Having said that, Gonzalo Higuain is on fire and rediscovered his confidence after a complicated start. It’d be better if he waited a little longer before finding form…

“Despite never actually playing together, I am friends with Gonzalo. We met in a restaurant in Madrid after a match and from that moment stayed in contact. When he signed for Juve, he called me for information on Turin and where to get a house.

“Pipita is a killer in front of goal, but you’ll see Dele Alli and Son can have our say. With all these talents, I feel younger too.”

Llorente had specific praise for Spurs Coach Pochettino.

“Tottenham is Pochettino. Kane is phenomenal, but he needs his teammates. Our Coach, however, had a decisive role for the growth of the club. Now we are among the big sides and there is a harmonious atmosphere, it feels like a family.

“For example, I’m not playing very much, but I am happy and I have fun here. I am aware that I am second in the pecking order, but I also know that 11 players are not enough to win a title. We need everyone and I work to ensure I am ready when called upon.

“Mauricio is not just a Coach, but also a manager, and his greatest strength is intelligence. If he asks me about Juventus, I’ll be able to tell him a few things, as I know the club and most of the players. Mind you, Pochettino focuses more on our own style than that of our opponents.

“Tottenham have two nutritionists and there are similar approaches to food that you’d find at Juve. It’s rare that I have an English style breakfast, but don’t imagine Kane starts the day with fries either. At Swansea, where I was last season, it did happen: they are still fairly British in their habits there.”

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