Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has paid a fitting tribute to former Fiorentina captain Davide Astori, who sadly passed away a couple of days back following a “sudden illness”. Speaking about him further, the Argentine manager also admitted that he tried signing him at St. Mary’s during his spell with Southampton.
The news of Astori passing away unearthed last weekend and following that, the Italian Serie A officials decided to postpone all of the weekend’s fixtures while the UEFA – as a moment of honour – decided there will be a one minute silence before every Champions League and Europa League game. Also, as things stand for his club, Fiorentina, the club from Florence along with Astori’s former club Cagliari – where he spent eight years – decided to retire the number 13 shirt which Astori wore for both the teams.
Also, according to Football Italia, the club from Florence also decided to donate Astori’s wages to his partner and daughter. The 31-year-old late defender leaves behind a partner, Francesca, and two-year-old daughter, Vittoria. The aforementioned source adds that Astori was due to sign a new extension with Fiorentina and after a Lega Serie A meeting, CONI President Giovanni Malagò affirmed that the club will pay Astori’s salary to his family.
Tottenham are all set to play Juventus tonight – in the second leg of the round of 16 of the Champions League – and as mentioned, there will be a minute’s silence as a mark of tribute before the fixture.
Speaking ahead of the fixture, Mauricio Pochettino sent his condolences to the late defender’s family and revealed that he tried signing him while his time with Southampton.
“First of all, I want to send all my condolences to David Astori and all the people that love him and I think it’s a massive tragedy.
“I had the possibility to meet him five years ago because it was my idea to sign him when we were at Southampton. I took three hours to have lunch with him and he was a great kid, great person, great professional, great player.
“It was very sad news, devastated to hear the news and we share the pain with all the people in Italy and Florence and I send all my energy to his family.”
Pochettino already has a scare of losing one of his players earlier during his managerial career. Back in 2009, Espanyol were in Florence, preparing for their pre-season fixture and during the tenure, Daniel Jarque suffered a heart attack at the age of 26 and passed away.
“Yes, for me, it was like, for everyone, it repeated everything in my mind with what happened in Florence, with what happened with Dani when I was manager of Espanyol.
“I know it’s so difficult, it’s impossible to take away that pain and find an explanation. It’s so difficult, it’s so difficult to understand what happens in these type of things.”
Astori’s passing away is a real tragedy but Spurs will be focused to win against Juventus on Wednesday and qualify for the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
“We know we have to win” – Tottenham star puts pressure on team ahead of PSV clash
Tottenham star Erik Lamela has put pressure on the club to go out and win against PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday.
Spurs lost their opening two games in their Champions League group, just like PSV, and have to beat the Dutch side if they have any chance of making it into the next round.
Barcelona beat us 4-2 while we lost in the last minute against Inter Milan in our group opener.
Lamela has been one of the stars for Spurs this season and was quoted by the Daily Star as saying:
“We know we have to win. Unfortunately we started the Champions League by losing in Milan.
“After, we lost against Barcelona and we will not have too many more chances, so we have to win.”
The Argentine scored in our 1-0 win over West Ham recently and his form will be crucial in getting all three points against the Dutch team.
Spurs need a bit of a miracle to make it into the next round and the next two clashes against PSV will be important.
Six points from the two games should give us a fighting chance of qualifying for the knockout rounds. Anything less than that, and we might need to defeat Barcelona or Inter Milan in our final group games, which won’t be an easy task.
31-year-old Tottenham star does not believe Spurs is his final club
Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris doesn’t believe he will finish his career at the London club. The Frenchman was taking part in a Q+A session with Telefoot (h/t Evening Standard) and was asked if Spurs would be his final club.
The former Lyon keeper said: “I don’t think so.”
The report adds that should Lloris see out his current contract with Spurs, he would have spent a decade at the club.
The keeper helped the France national side to the World Cup in 2018 but claimed there were no offers for him post the victory.
Lloris has been one of the best keepers in the world in recent years and claimed his future at the club is dependent on our manager.
“My future is tied to Mauricio’s. That is certain.”
The report adds that Pochettino signed a new contract with Spurs in the summer but has been linked with Manchester United and Real Madrid.
Pochettino is one of the best managers in the world and it comes as no surprise that others are interested in him.
Lloris, for his part, has done very well at Tottenham and is only 31. The Frenchman seems to be hitting his prime at the club, which is a huge bonus for us. The only thing he has to work on is removing the minor errors in his game, which hasn’t cost us much.
Tottenham confirm opening largest retail space for any football club
Tottenham have opened the new Spurs Shop at the Tottenham Experience, which is the largest retail space for any football club in the world.
A release from the club added that the store would feature merchandise of the team, Nike and even the NFL. The store is 23,000 sq ft and contains numerous features including a 100-seater auditorium with a 36-screen video wall.
This area will hold special appearances, pre and post-match events and other promotions. The release adds that all payments will be cashless and there will be giveaways on the shop floor to generate excitement.
This is the first step in opening the stadium and hopefully, the fans will have a great time at the new store.
There are a number of other attractions lined up to make the experience even better. The release adds that numerous attractions will be available throughout the year, along with the stadium tours, the museum, archive and the sky walk.
Tottenham have spent a lot of money in redeveloping White Hart Lane and it is only fitting that we have one of the best stadiums in world football.
The club is certainly on the up with Mauricio Pochettino at the helm, and now the only thing we would be looking forward to is the date when the stadium will hold its first game.
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