Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino admitted his affection for Real Madrid and club president Florentino Perez after his light-hearted comment drew a reaction from the club.
Last week, Pochettino had claimed that his team were denied permission to stay at the training ground in Madrid ahead of the Champions League.
“I asked Florentino to let us sleep in the sports centre but he told me that I can only sleep there when I become the coach of Real Madrid,” he said.
Madrid responded to these comments, explaining that the allegations made by the Spurs boss were false.
“Real Madrid CF is surprised by the demonstrations made by the coach of Tottenham Hotspur, Mauricio Pochettino, about a supposed request made to our club so that his team could stay in the residence of the Real Madrid City on the occasion of the final of the Champions League.
“Real Madrid CF wants to make it clear that it is outright false that this request was produced. Our club has always shown its absolute availability to meet all the requests made by UEFA, the Royal Spanish Football Federation, Club Atletico de Madrid, Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur,” the official statement read.
With the ball in Pochettino’s court, the former Espanyol manager praised the club and the president, reiterating that his comment was made in good humour.
“I’m glad that Florentino understood my comments,” Pochettino said to Radio MARCA, in reference to an interview he had given to COPE’s El Partidazo.
“He’s a president who defined an era.
“I have huge affection for him and Real Madrid and I never intended to upset him or the club.”
Brazilian wonder-kid Vinicius Junior is pleased with the debut season he’s had at Real Madrid.
The winger started off with the Castilla side, but was incorporated into the first team and eventually became an integral part of Santiago Solari’s plans.
The fact that the regulars under-performed habitually helped him break into the first team and announce himself to the world.
For all his talent on the ball, his shooting has been sub-par as evidenced by the fact that he scored just two goals in 18 La Liga games.
But the Brazilian is happy with how his season panned out and believes that he learned a lot from the first team.
“It was a great year for me,” he explained, talking to Japanese journalists as cited by Marca.
“I started with Castilla, but I knew what would happen sooner or later.
“I started playing and I learnt a lot. It was a shame that we didn’t do well in any of the three competitions, but the team had won three Champions Leagues. Unfortunately it can happen.”
Legendary Spain boss Vicente del Bosque has defended struggling Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane on the grounds that it’s always hard to reverse ‘negative momentum’.
Madrid have had a season to forget and Zidane’s re-appointment in March failed to have any impact on their disastrous season.
Del Bosque, who won two Champions League titles with Madrid, defended the Frenchman, insisting that reversing such a slide is complicated. The 68-year-old also pointed out that the team has had three managers in a turbulent year.
“Zidane isn’t going to ask me for advice,” Del Bosque told the press at the launch of the ninth edition of his Campus Vicente Del Bosque, according to Marca.
“Madrid have a good squad and I’m sure they’ll freshen it up a bit, but it’s a fantastic group.
“The worst thing for them has been to have three coaches and it’s complicated to reverse negative momentum. I’ve experienced it myself and I know how complicated it is.”