‘I am living another dream’: Mauricio Pochettino receives surprise visit from Argentina hero Mario Kempes ahead of Champions League final
- World Cup winner Mario Kempes surprised Mauricio Pochettino on Tuesday
- The former Argentina star paid Pochettino a visit at Tottenham’s training ground
- He described the surprise as ‘beautiful’ before of the Champions League final
- His assistant Jesus Perez arranged the event with Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa
Mauricio Pochettino had to pinch himself when his hero Mario Kempes turned up at the Tottenham training ground this week.
Pochettino’s assistant Jesus Perez organised the surprise with the help of Spurs legends Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa who were team-mates of Kempes when Argentina won the World Cup in 1978.
‘Mario Kempes was my idol,’ said the Spurs manager. ‘I watched him win the World Cup when I was six years old.
(From L – R) Ricky Villa, Mauricio Pochettino, Mario Kempes and Ossie Ardiles pose for a photo
‘To see him at the training ground was an amazing surprise. It was Mario Kempes in front of me.
‘It was beautiful, wonderful, to have the possibility to meet him for the first time. I am living another dream because it was amazing.
‘We talked about his life now in the USA and the possibilities football gives you to meet people and know different cultures, to travel.’
Kempes, who claimed the World Cup Golden Boot with six goals in the 78 finals, was at the training ground on Tuesday.
Pochettino shares a joke with Kempes (L) and Ardiles at Tottenham’s training ground
Kempes scored six goals to claim the golden boot as Argentina won the 1978 World Cup
It was a day when Tottenham’s living legends, including Cliff Jones, Pat Jennings, Ardiles and Villa were there to meet the team and host a lunch, where they selected Moussa Sissoko as their player of the year.
Pochettino, who celebrated his fifth anniversary as Spurs manager this week, has varied the usual routine in the build up to the Champions League final against Liverpool.
‘It’s amazing, five years working here at Tottenham,’ said the 47-year-old Argentine. ‘OK, you can expect or believe to be successful and get positive results.
‘But to be playing in the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the Champions League at the new stadium and then playing in the final, no-one would have believed that was possible five years ago.’