Mauricio Pochettino opened the door to a Barcelona bench experience after expressing regret over showing ‘disrespect’ to the Blaugrana with comments he made in 2018.
Pochettino’s coaching career so far has mainly been at Tottenham, where he spent five years until 2019, but it was at Espanyol that he came to prominence and spent most of his years as a player. In two spells as a player, Pochettino represented Espanyol for around 10 years, then became the club’s head coach in 2009, three years after hanging up on the Periquitos.
These are the links that were often mentioned by Spanish football commentators and experts when they suggested Pochettino would not coach Espanyol’s local rivals Barcelona. Pochettino has also expressed his reluctance to such an idea on several occasions, most recently in 2018, when he claimed he would never coach Barca, Arsenal or Rosario Central due to his close ties to Espanyol, Newell’s Spurs and Old Boys. “I would rather work on my farm in Argentina than go to work in certain places”, he said. But, he has since gone back on that statement.
“I didn’t like the statement I made”
“I must explain it well, he said in an interview with El Pais. Jwas in Barcelona that year and met [le président du Barca Josep Maria] Bartomeu in a bar. We said hello because we were taking the kids to the same school and we talked for five minutes. This generated a rumor which set off alerts as there were more teams that wanted us. When the reporters asked me, I wanted to resolve the problem categorically. I didn’t want to disrespect Barcelona. You can say it differently. Espanyol made a name for me, but I’m not arrogant and didn’t like making a statement like that. Maybe now I wouldn’t because in life you never know what’s going to happen. “
Pochettino has been out of work since November last year and his dismissal from Spurs, just months after leading the London club to the Champions League final. Barca, for their part, are currently coached by Quique Setien. The latter is however seriously weakened in his post after failing to retain the title of champion of Spain.