‘The next Messi or Ronaldo will play in England’

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino doubts the Premier League will be able to lure Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo away from Spain before the end of their careers but believes the game’s next global superstars will end up in England.


Plenty of the world’s leading players already ply their trade on these shores and, with top-flight clubs benefiting from a new £5billion-plus three-year broadcast deal, that influx of talent is set to continue.

However, the Premier League cannot boast either of the two players widely regarded to be the best on the planet – Barcelona ace Messi and Real Madrid star Ronaldo.

While Manchester City have been linked with a move for Messi, Pochettino cannot see that fact changing, but he does believe the Premier League’s spending power means the next elite players will head here.

He told Spanish newspaper Marca: “These types of players don’t come around every day or every year. Real Madrid and Barcelona already have them and nobody is going to take them away.

“But, with the financial power that the clubs have, the next Messi or Ronaldo will play in England.

“The talent will come to England soon, in fact it is already arriving.”

Pochettino’s Tottenham finished third in the Premier League last season after their title bid fell away over the final stretch, and the north London club are up among the frontrunners again this campaign.

They are fifth with 24 points, four behind leaders Chelsea who they face at Stamford Bridge this weekend.

Pochettino said: “We’re fighting, with the addition of a new experience such as the Champions League, which we must learn from despite the blow of elimination.

“We could be better, but we’re happy.”

Asked if Spurs can win the title, the former Espanyol and Southampton boss said: “We’re still unbeaten and last season we were very, very close.

“With some fortune, luck or better finishing we could be in first place now. If we maintain our level and we improve in some aspects, I’m sure that we’re going to be up there.”



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