By 90Min
October 18, 2017

Zinedine Zidane has won back-to-back Champions League titles since being named as Real Madrid coach in January 2016, but things could have looked quite different had Los Blancos pursued Mauricio Pochettino more seriously instead.

The Tottenham boss steered his side to an impressive 1-1 draw in the Bernabeu on Tuesday night, but earlier in the day, reports in Spain had recalled how Pochettino was considered as a candidate in Madrid before Real settled on Zidane.


Pochettino was midway through his second season at Spurs at that time, and it is said that Real contacted the former Argentina centre-back and asked him to hold off on signing a new contract at White Hart Lane, where negotiations over an improved deal were already ongoing.

Real apparently wanted to be kept in the loop while they made their decision.

In the end, it was Zidane who was chosen. The Frenchman had been an assistant coach to Carlo Ancelotti previously and had been in charge of the club's Castilla B side during the first half of the 2015/16 campaign. His status as a Real legend also made him the obvious choice.

Pochettino has since taken Spurs from strength to strength. Having inspired a fifth place finish in his first Tottenham season in 2014/15, it was his side that ran eventual champions Leicester closest in 2015/16, with a second place in 2016/17 the club's highest since 1963, 54 long years.

Spurs are now back in the Champions League for the first time since 2011, when Gareth Bale's inspired form helped them reach the quarter finals against Real, and are joint top of Group H with the reigning champions after three games.

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