Seeing off Burnley on Monday night, Tottenham will now be focused on Thursday’s game against Royal Antwerp in the Europa League.
For Spurs fans, it might just be another European night, but for the players, staff and supporters of the Belgian club, it’s a great event as they look to test themselves against one of the Premier League’s elite.
Not only will they get to play against great players such as Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min, but Ivan Leko, their manager, will be able to go head to head against José Mourinho, widely seen as one of the greatest managers in recent years.
The 42-year-old couldn’t hide his excitement during the press conference ahead of the game on Wednesday, relayed by DH.
He said: “It’s a little dream that’s come true, to challenge one of the best managers in the world. I’m not nervous, just happy to see my team against his. You don’t play against a team like that every day.
“For me, he’s one of the three best managers of the 21st century, with Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti. He’s won everywhere he’s gone in the past 20 years”.
As for the outcome of the game, Leko managed to be as optimistic as he could be, clearly not wanting to downplay his team’s chances.
He added: “We obviously want to win every game but we know who we’re facing. Tottenham are playing near the top in the Premier League, the best in the world for me. But it remains football. The best team on paper doesn’t always win”.
Antwerp, who finished fourth in the Jupiler Pro League last season, currently sit top of the Belgian championship after 10 games, one point ahead of Club Brugge and Charleroi, even if the latter have a game in hand.