}); Lionel Messi prepared to hitch 'genius' checklist of gamers Mauricio Pochettino has labored with, together with Diego Maradona, Ronaldinho and former Tottenham man - UK News Broadcasts

Lionel Messi prepared to hitch ‘genius’ checklist of gamers Mauricio Pochettino has labored with, together with Diego Maradona, Ronaldinho and former Tottenham man


When Mauricio Pochettino touched down at Paris Saint-Germain in January this 12 months, he’d have scarcely imagined he’d get to work with Lionel Messi simply eight months later.

The previous Tottenham boss is on the verge of constructing a managerial dream a actuality, as his membership shut in on the signing arguably soccer’s best ever participant.

Messi is in Paris and on the brink of his PSG move


Messi is in Paris and on the point of his PSG transfer

Messi has agreed to signal for the French giants, with the six-time world participant of the 12 months a free agent after Barcelona introduced they had been unable to fulfil the phrases of a brand new contract because of monetary difficulties final week.

He’s poised to hitch on an preliminary two-year deal, with the switch to be introduced by the French giants on Wednesday in a press convention which might be watched by tens of millions world wide.

Pochettino was current in the beginning of Messi’s Barcelona journey and it’s considerably poetic that he’ll now be a distinguished determine in the beginning of his new journey.

The pressure is on Poch with Messi arriving in Paris


The stress is on Poch with Messi arriving in Paris

A recent confronted Messi got here on for his La Liga debut on 16th October, 2004 in opposition to Espanyol – and Poch was among the many defenders he got here up in opposition to within the Catalan derby.

The PSG boss has typically spoken of the ‘geniuses’ he has labored with all through his profession – each as a participant and a coach – and Messi might effectively prime the lot now.

However who’re these gamers and when did he work with them? talkSPORT.com has recognized the 5 geniuses that had a particular affect on Pochettino as he prepares to begin a brand new period along with his compatriot Messi…

Diego Maradona

Like many, Poch fell in love with soccer due to Maradona, and he has beforehand recalled his delight at assembly him for the primary time.

He was nonetheless making his approach at Newell’s Previous Boys in 1993 when the Argentine membership pulled off a coup and signed him.

He later roomed with him on the membership and have become associates – and Poch was left ‘damaged with ache’ upon studying of Diego Maradona’s dying final 12 months.

Mardona’s death last year had a huge affect on Messi

Getty Pictures – Getty

Mardona’s dying final 12 months had an enormous have an effect on on Messi

Iván de la Peña

Pochettino could also be enthusiastic about Messi arriving at PSG – however the little magician wasn’t the one who caught his eye when he made his debut all these years in the past.

De La Pena, who made his title at Barcelona earlier than becoming a member of Espanyol later in his profession, had a profound have an effect on on Poch throughout the early phases of his enjoying profession on the Catalan membership.

“You say to me: ‘You performed in Messi’s debut’…no, I don’t keep in mind it,” he recalled in 2018.

“I used to be at centre-back and he performed on the aspect. We didn’t face one another.

“When Messi made his debut, it was like one other teen that had arrived to the Barcelona staff from the academy – prefer it was Xavi or Iniesta or Iván de la Peña.

“Really, no. When De la Peña began to play for Barcelona, there was an explosion of pleasure. I at all times keep in mind Ronaldo saying he was the very best participant that he noticed in his life and he performed with.”

De la Pena left Poch starstruck


De la Pena left Poch starstruck


Poch established himself as certainly one of Europe’s prime defenders at Espanyol, but it surely was at PSG in 2001 the place he actually began to witness particular gamers.

Ronaldinho, a Ballon d’Or winner and arguably the best participant of his technology, was certainly one of them.

The Brazilian wasn’t on the peak of is powers when he arrived, however Poch knew he was destined for greatness.

He lately recalled to Sky Sports activities: “Once we performed at Paris Saint-Germain, [Ronaldinho] had an identical charisma [to Diego Maradona]. What an incredible participant, with the expertise, however the expertise was full due to the charisma.”

Poch and Ronaldinho played together at PSG before the latter moved to Barca

Poch and Ronaldinho performed collectively at PSG earlier than the latter moved to Barca

Jay-Jay Okocha

A real icon of the sport, Poch was wowed by the Nigerian when he joined PSG within the early 2000s.

He went on to make 84 league appearances for the Parisiens earlier than sealing a change to Bolton Wanderers.

Okocha was a brilliant player and one of the most entertaining of his generation


Okocha was an excellent participant and some of the entertaining of his technology

Moussa Dembele

The one Tottenham participant to make this checklist, Dembele has been recognized as a one-of-a-kind expertise by dozens of gamers he has performed with.

Pochettino, who coached him at Spurs for 5 years, typically says if he’d been in control of the Belgian from when he was a youngster, he’d have made him the most effective gamers on this planet.

“I at all times say, ‘Mousa, in my guide, you can be certainly one of my genius gamers that I’ve been fortunate to fulfill,’” Pochettino mentioned in 2017.

“One was Maradona, then Ronaldinho, Okocha and De La Pena. He’s a genius too, Moussa Dembele. We at all times informed him, ‘If we had taken you at eighteen or nineteen years previous, you’d have develop into the most effective gamers on this planet.’ I might have beloved to have taken him on at 18.”

Dembele was a special player as Poch learnt


Dembele was a particular participant as Poch learnt


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