Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel admitted it was “special” to meet Spurs in the Europa League, having grown fond of them as a kid.
The German coach, who has an excellent command of English, lingered much longer than usual at his post-match press conference following Dortmund’s 2-1 win at White Hart Lane, and many believed he wanted to stay in London permanently.
He was keen to dwell on his side’s 5-1 aggregate win over Tottenham for as long as possible as he asked for extra time at his media briefing to add one last anecdote.
“As a little kid in my garden when I played I was always a team from Bundesliga of course, but the one team I was when I played with my friends was Tottenham Hotspur because I liked the name so much,” Tuchel said.
“I had not a picture, I didn’t even know they played in London. So for me to play them in two legs was very special.
“And what I didn’t know as a kid, what I felt today and yesterday, is there are so many friendly people here and around the club.
“The coaching staff from the team and all the staff around the stadium were unbelievable, such great support, and such a great atmosphere – it made us feel very welcome so thanks a lot and all the best for the club.”
In his first season as Dortmund boss, Tuchel remains in with a chance of a treble as his side are just five points off Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich with eight games to go and are also in the semi-finals of the German Cup.