Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino was made an honorary citizen of Virle Piemonte yesterday, as it's his ancestral family home.
Spurs are in Italy for tonight’s Champions League Last 16 first leg against Juventus, and the Argentine can trace his family roots back to Italy.
Pochettino’s great-grandfather left northern Italy in 1867 to seek a new life in South America, and now his ancestor has been made an honorary citizen.
“No matter the distance I have always felt Piedmontese, because that was my education,” Pochettino said.
“I never pass the salt from hand to hand [an Italian superstition]… Virle! My grandfather used to tell me: ‘you are from this small town’.
“Then he told me about the Piedmontese who left for Argentina. I assure you that this bond has always been strong, and it’s even more so now.”
The Spurs manager is also distantly related to deputy mayor Daniele Pochettino - who is a Juventus fan.
The mayor of the small town, which is around 30km from Turin, also invited Pochettino to return.
“You’re one of our own,” Mattia Robasto said as he granted the honorary citizenship.
“You knew it before and now it’s official. When you want, you and your family will be a guest of all Virlesi.”