‘We will do everything to beat them next week!’ New Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel explains his affection for bitter foes Tottenham when growing up in Germany and says he now fully understands the rivalry
- CLICK HERE for every word spoken at Thomas Tuchel’s unveiling at Chelsea
- Back in 2016, then Borussia Dortmund boss Tuchel spoke of liking Tottenham
- He explained that growing up he used to play as Spurs in his back garden
- Tuchel was asked if he supported Chelsea’s bitter rivals at the press conference
- He said Tottenham’s name sounds like a ‘big adventure’ when he was a kid
- But he insisted he didn’t even know at the time that they were based in London
- Chelsea make the trip across the capital to face Tottenham next Thursday night
Thomas Tuchel has reassured Chelsea fans they will be doing everything to beat Tottenham next week after the German had previously admitted having a soft spot for their bitter rivals.
Back in 2016, Tuchel’s Borussia Dortmund drew Spurs in the last-16 of the UEFA Europa League and at the time he spoke of his affection for the White Hart Lane club growing up in the Bavarian town of Krumbach.
‘As a little kid, in my garden, when I played [football] I was always [playing] as a team from the Bundesliga but there was one game when I played as Tottenham Hotspur because I liked the name so much,’ he said in 2016.
Thomas Tuchel was asked about his supposed affection for Tottenham during his unveiling press conference as Chelsea manager on Thursday afternoon
Tuchel insisted he now fully understood the bitter rivalry between the two London clubs
‘I didn’t have a picture and I didn’t know they played in London so to play them in two legs was very special. What I didn’t know as a kid is what I felt today and yesterday, that there are so many friendly people there.
‘The coaching staff and the staff in the stadium and dressing room and benches and so on, was unbelievable. Such great support and atmosphere, so many friendly people, they made us feel welcome. Thanks a lot and best of luck to the club.’
But determined not to get off on the wrong foot with Chelsea fans, Tuchel explained his supposed affections for Spurs in his unveiling press conference on Thursday afternoon.
He said: ‘I want to be very honest because we played the Europa League game with Dortmund and Tottenham, and I just explained it.
Tuchel’s Borussia Dortmund beat Tottenham in the UEFA Europa League back in 2016 – Tuchel spoke of his affection for Spurs growing up around that game
Spurs striker Harry Kane looks dejected during the last-16 tie Dortmund won 5-1 on aggregate
‘When I was young there was no daily match live on the TV, so what I could actually see was one or two minutes every four weeks.
‘Suddenly a club like Tottenham Hotspur came across on our sports broadcaster, I heard the name and it sounded like a big adventure and it gave me a big advantage on my friends because they had no idea where the club was.
‘I was young, but that was one of my first experiences. I did not even know it was a club in London.
‘But now I’m absolutely aware I work for their big rivals, and you can be very, very sure we will do everything to beat them next week!’
Dortmund’s players celebrate with their travelling fans at White Hart Lane back in 2016
Marco Reus smashed the ball past Hugo Lloris in Dortmund’s 3-0 home win in the first leg
Chelsea play away to Tottenham next Thursday. In the meantime, they host Burnley this Sunday with Tuchel hoping to pick up his first win in the job after Wednesday night’s goalless draw against Wolves.
Tuchel’s Dortmund side comprehensively got the better of Spurs in that 2016 tie, winning 5-1 on aggregate.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, now at their north London rivals Arsenal, scored in a 3-0 first leg win at the Signal Iduna Park before netting twice in a 2-1 success at White Hart Lane.
Tuchel’s side were eliminated in an epic tie with Liverpool in the next round.
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