LONDON: Liverpool, the first World Cup favourite, won the Champions League title against Tottenham Hotspur in the final in Madrid on 1 June, said Gary Lineker, a former England striker.
Lineker, who spent three seasons at the Spurs between 1989 and 1992, highlighted the 26-point gap in the Premier League table between Liverpool and his former team-mate, fourth, as evidence of a huge gap between the two teams.
“Overall, the team against (Liverpool) has the best players,” Lineker told The Times. “They finished the season with a score of points ahead of Tottenham, so it’s hard to make a case where Tottenham is a favourite.
“But, as we know in football, the best teams do not always win, which makes this match so special.”
The 58-year-old also congratulated Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp for creating a team that reflects his image, while stressing that the Spurs must invest to keep pace with Mauricio Pochettino’s ambitions.
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“Klopp is an extremely enthusiastic and passionate man,” Lineker said. “This side of Liverpool reflects his personality – very dynamic, lots of energy. He is clearly very intelligent and he is a brilliant footballer who shows his passion.
“(Pochettino) is … clearly one of the best leaders in world football, but (the Spurs) need investments, he told me himself, he needs support and I guess if he is not supported, he will have trouble keeping it.”
Tottenham has not signed a contract with anyone in the last two transfer windows, as the club was forced to limit spending after moving to a new stadium.
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Pochettino, meanwhile, has hinted that he could leave if the Spurs are not able to compete for the most important titles due to a lack of investment, which would be a blow for the club. He has guided four consecutive times in the top four in the Premier League.
“It’s really a defining moment for Tottenham,” said Lineker. “They have to decide what they are.
“It remains to be seen if they will go ahead and become a club capable of competing in other finals of the Champions League rather than a single match …”