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The Madrid Diaries: How Tottenham made it to the Champions League final

FourFourTwo’s James Maw and Hunter Godson, football journalist Tony Evans, and his mate Tony are driving to the Champions League final in a motorhome. You can follow their trip on Twitter and Instagram.

Did I ever believe that Tottenham Hotspur would be playing in a Champions League final in my lifetime? Absolutely not. Plenty will claim that we don’t ‘deserve’ to be here (hello, Graeme Souness), but that’s nonsense. Plenty will claim that it was all down to luck. Perhaps. It doesn’t really matter, though. Spurs are going to Madrid and we’re going along with them.

It wasn’t until Thursday morning that I even allowed myself to think, to believe that this is actually happening. Every Spurs fan I’ve spoken to appears to feel the same way.

This is incomprehensible. It’s not possible. A false reality. An alternate dimension. And yet, somehow, it’s real.  

I’m sitting in a tunnel that connects England to France, in a motorhome on my way to the Spanish capital for the grandest night in Spurs’ history. I’m not travelling alone, though. I’ve got FourFourTwo Deputy Editor and Tottenham devotee, James Maw, by my side and two Liverpool fans: football writer Tony Evans and his best mate, also Tony. Rome, Istanbul, wherever, these lads have seen it all. They’ve seen Liverpool lift titles and lose them.

For me, this will be my first European away night. Not a bad one to start with.

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I’ve watched the Ajax highlights back countless times now. My stomach twists and sinks as we go 2-0 down, but there’s a strange comfort in knowing that something so unbelievable, so un-Spursy, so spectacular, is about to happen. “Tottenham don’t do this”, I keep telling myself. By the time Lucas Moura latches on to the flick from Dele Alli, I’m in dreamland. Ecstasy. As Jermaine Jenas’ voice breaks and Poch is brought to his knees, a tidal wave of emotions wash over me; an attack of feelings that are foreign to me when it comes to football. Every time I’m brought to the brink of tears and for the life of me, I don’t really know why. “Without football, these types of emotions aren’t possible,” claims Pochettino, and you know what? He’s absolutely right.

Whether Spurs win or – more likely – lose on Saturday night, they will have done us all proud. It is exactly this type of cup run that reminds you why we all fell in love with football. The extreme highs and the devastating lows; of which there have been many in this Champions League campaign.

As we begin to disembark from our gloomy Eurotunnel carriage I’m filled with a blind optimism, a giddy schoolboy-like hope that Tottenham could still dare to do the impossible. After all, ‘Audere est Facere’.

With thanks to Baileys of Bristol for supplying the motorhome to make this trip possible.


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