KEIR RADNEDGE in MADRID: Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino offered no clue on the eve of the Champions League Final against Liverpool as to whether Harry Kane will start or come off the substitutes’ bench later in the game.
The England captain and Spurs’ top scorer has not played since the quarter-final first leg against Manchester City in early April when he suffered an ankle ligament injury.
The England captain has declared himself fit again this week at last and appeared to train without problem at the Estadio Metropolitano on Friday night.
Kane would likely replace Lucas Moura – the hat-trick hero of Amsterdam – if he was to start and Pochettino is preparing himself for a “painful” decision.
Before training Pochettino said: “We have one more session now and then we’re going to decide. It is not going to be easy to make that decision tomorrow. But it was difficult all the last games that we played, the semi-finals, the quarter-finals, the last 16.
“Every single game we need to take a decision. Tomorrow is going to be another decision, a decision when we have all the information and we know every single detail, we are going to take the best decision to win.”
Pochettino’s urging has persuaded European federation to organise a new pre-match photo opportunity. Both teams will line up for the media photographers and then be joined for a second picture by the substitutes.
Tottenham are preparing for the biggest game of their history and have a chance to become the unlikeliest European champions in recent memory.
Pochettino added: “It’s amazing to go back 10 months ago when we started the pre-season to believe one day that we would be here.
“Tomorrow is about enjoying for us and to win because we want to write the history. We know very well what we have to do.”
Much has been made of Reds boss Jurgen Klopp’s losing record in finals as he has lost the last six he has contested, including two Champions League finals.
Pochettino, however, believes the fact he has now reached three showpiece events in this competition is the statistic everyone should be focusing on.
He said: “For me, Jurgen is a successful manager, I admire him a lot, he is great, he is happy, optimistic, he is a very good example, I like him a lot. He is a little bit unlucky, the people judge because you lose the final.
“You need to judge that it is the third time he has arrived at the final, the most difficult thing is to arrive at the final.”