Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that he is 'happy' that Jose Mourinho was the man chosen to replace him in the dugout in north London, while he has also reflected on his former side's heartbreaking Champions League final defeat to Liverpool last season.
Adored by the fans, Pochettino guided Spurs to the Champions League final last season, but were defeated 2-0 by the Reds. And following a slow start to the 2019/20 season, the club chose to part ways with the Argentine, opting to bring in the Special One instead in November.
While Mourinho's record speaks for itself, the decision to let go of Pochettino was criticised by many, considering the progress he had made during his time in north London. But reflecting on it now, Pochettino has explained that he and Mourinho have kept a 'good relationship' for a number of years, and he was pleased to see the former Manchester United boss replace him.
"When I arrived at the stadium [Santiago Bernabeu with Espanyol], Jose was waiting for me with a bag with a very nice bottle of French red wine and two kits of Real Madrid, shirts and shorts," Pochettino told the Daily Mail.
"We have kept a good relationship. We have known each other for a long time. He’s a top coach. In life, look what happens. I always think, 'Oh, maybe one day I can take your place at Real Madrid' and he has taken my place at Tottenham. Unbelievable, eh? I am happy he has replaced me.
"I am happy to leave the club in the way we left it, with the best facilities in the world. For sure, he is very grateful for the way we helped to build the club which is now his club."
Pochettino went on to reveal that he actually met up with Unai Emery, who had recently been sacked by rivals Arsenal, for a coffee - which, of course, resulted in them receiving a few confused looks from people in north London.
"We met to talk and share our experiences. We were working in different clubs. We were the enemy. But we finished at around the same time and we were just taking a coffee. It was in Cockfosters, very close to Arsenal and Tottenham’s training grounds. People were walking past and saying, 'Unai and Pochettino are now sharing a coffee'. It was very funny."
Elsewhere, Pochettino went on to discuss the heartbreak of losing the Champions League final to Liverpool, explaining that while he thought his side were the better team, finals were about winning.
"Very difficult to accept. I was convinced that the final was going to go our way. That was completely in our minds. But nobody is prepared after 30 seconds of the Champions League final to concede like that. The goal changed the whole game, all the emotions.
"It is difficult to prepare a team for that happening. We were much better than Liverpool. We were unlucky that we didn’t score. Maybe we deserved a better result, but in the end, finals are about winning, about the title.
"Not about to deserve or not to deserve. Who wins has won. When you lose, a lot of people can have different ideas, but if you win, no one analyses why you win. You have the victory."