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Pochettino: "I could never coach an archenemy like Barcelona"

The Tottenham manager spoke to Onda Cero's El Transistor programme about life in London and Guardiola's problematic remarks about Spurs
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El entrenador del Tottenham, Mauricio Pochettino.
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Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino spent a short while chatting to Onda Cero radio programme El Transistor last night. The Argentine coach spoke about a number of topics including adapting to life in London, the rivalry between Barcelona and Espanyol, his feelings on Guardiola's broadside about Spurs and taking tips from Carles Puyol and Sergio Ramos.

LaLiga: "Despite having spent the past few years in England, I still actively follow what's going on in Spain and the Spanish league. Last night I went to bed worried about what has been happening in Galicia and Asturias with the forest fires. And unfortunately, I am also following everything that's going on in Catalunya. I am an open-minded person who finds it hard to put up frontiers and barriers - especially as both of my sons were born in Barcelona and are diehard Espanyol fans".

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino getting some ball practice in at the Bernabéu yesterday
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Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino getting some ball practice in at the Bernabéu yesterdayJuanJo MartínEFE

Pochettino, true to his values

Coaching Barcelona one day: "In life, you have values which you are taught as a child and I just don't have any interest in Barça. We've always been rivals and I don't think I could ever coach a club which has been an archenemy for so many years because I would feel like a traitor to myself. You have to remain true to yourself and respect your own values".

Differences between Barça and Espanyol: "The values of both clubs are completely different - that's not to say that one's club's values are better than the other's - it's just that they are different".

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Challenges of living abroad

Life in England: "I Spain I felt very much at home. It's similar to Argentina and that's why it's nice for me to come back after being away for five years. I went to England without knowing a single word of English and now I can defend myself quite well in the language but for a year and a half I was unable to give interviews other than in Spanish".

War of words with Guardiola: "It was a lack of respect on his behalf and maybe I should have responded to it but I'll continue having the same admiration I've always had for him".

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JuanJo MartínEFE

Spurs idol, Kane

Harry Kane: "Kane is worshipped at Tottenham and I hope that with Spurs he can have the kind of career Totti enjoyed with Roma. He's a very mature, level-headed person and domestically and personally he has the right structure in place for him to become a great player".

Sergio Ramos as a role model: "Sergio Ramos has quality and leadership. When I was coaching Espanyol I would tell the younger defenders like Víctor Ruiz and Jordi Amat to go to Camp Nou to watch how Puyol times a challenge. Now I tell our young centre-back to watch Sergio Ramos".

Future at Real Madrid? "I am completely focused on my project with Tottenham because at the end of the day, it's the results which will determine your sell-by date".

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