Mauricio Pochettino admits he was ‘wrong’ to say he could never manage Barcelona after the former Tottenham boss was linked with the top job this summer… but insists he was NOT approached by the club
- Mauricio Pochettino regrets saying it would be ‘impossible’ to coach Barcelona
- The former Spurs boss started his management career with their rivals Espanyol
- Pochettino said his message would not have been appreciated by Barca fans
- The Spanish giants went on to appoint Holland manager Ronald Koeman instead
Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino says he regrets ruling out a future move to Barcelona after being lined up as one of the favourites for the post this summer.
The Argentine, who was sacked by Spurs last November, previously said it was ‘impossible’ to become head coach at the Nou Camp having spent 13 years at rivals Espanyol as both a player and manager.
The Catalan side eventually appointed Holland boss Ronald Koeman after sacking Quique Setien following their miserable 8-2 defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League, and Pochettino said he was never approached by the club.
Former Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino regrets saying he would never coach Barcelona
The Argentine previously said it would be ‘impossible’ after managing their rivals Espanyol
‘I think the statements made the [Barca] fans reluctant to accept me, but at no time did I receive an offer to manage Barca,’ he told the Spanish press, via the Evening Standard.
‘I was wrong in the way I conveyed that it would be impossible in the future to manage Barcelona,’ he added.
‘I was a bit exaggerated by not leaving an iota of doubt.’
The club appointed Ronald Koeman as boss this summer despite being linked with Pochettino
Pochettino, who spent 12 years at Espanyol overall, said he was ‘wrong’ to rule out the job
He has previously compared joining Barcelona to managing Arsenal after leaving Tottenham and, speaking in 2018, Pochettino said he and the club were ‘on different paths’.
‘I have a lot of friends in Barcelona, who are from the Barca team and to whom I have enormous respect, but my way and that of Barcelona are going through different paths, in opposite directions and that would be impossible.’
Pochettino spent seven years in his first spell as an Espanyol player between 1994 and 2001, winning the Copa del Rey, before leaving for PSG. But he formed a special bond with the club and returned for a second stint in 2003.
He refused to blame Tottenham for his sacking last year and admits he failed to win games
After three more seasons he retired and later took over as head coach – saving the club from relegation and masterminding a famous win over Pep Guardiola’s feared Barcelona team.
Since leaving Spurs last year, Pochettino has been linked with a number of big jobs, including Real Madrid, PSG and Bayern Munich. He came close to winning trophies in north London after leading them to the 2019 Champions League final, but was axed after a terrible run that left the team in mid-table.
Reflecting on his departure, he refused to point the blame at the club and said he simply failed to win enough games.
‘Relationships are broken due to the responsibility of both parties,’ he added. ‘I do not think there was a culprit. Coaches survive by winning games.’