Danny Rose admits he never set his sights as high as winning the Champions League with Tottenham.
The defender was memorably outspoken in his desire for Spurs to sign big-name players to take them to the next level, but in his mind that was lifting a domestic cup.
But Mauricio Pochettino, who has transformed the club into one of the forces of English football in his five years in charge, has always said winning the Premier League or Champions League should be the aim for Spurs.
People questioned Pochettino’s indifference towards the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, but he has been proved right as Spurs are 90 minutes away from glory as they take on Liverpool in Saturday’s Champions League final in Madrid.
Rose openly says the prospect of winning the Champions League never entered his mind.
“Since I’ve been at the club, being in a Champions League final has never ever entered my thought process,” he said.
“I wanted so much to win the Carabao Cup, the FA Cup and the Premier League.
“We’ve got to one final in the Carabao and two (FA Cup) semis, we’ve huffed and puffed in the league and ultimately never come close.
“To think that we’re 90 minutes away from maybe lifting the Champions League, I never thought that could happen at Tottenham, it shows you anything can happen in football.
“Now I understand what he (Pochettino) means, it wasn’t that I didn’t believe him, I just didn’t understand.
“Now I definitely understand, it shows that’s why he’s the manager and I’m the player.”
Rose and his team-mates have already gone further in Europe’s premier cup competition than any other Tottenham side and are 90 minutes away from writing their names into club folklore.
“I’ve been here a long time. To think that we could become legends after 90 minutes is amazing, that’s got to be our motivation as well,” he added.
“No one expected us to be here at start of competition, no one expected us to be here after the quarters or the semis.
“We want to win for ourselves, the manager, the club, especially the fans. I don’t think we can think too much about, ‘if we win this, we’re going to be legends’.
“It’s the biggest competition in club football, we want to win. We want to show the world that the project the manager started five years ago is coming, it’s on its way.
“We’ve got the stadium now, the training ground, we hope this is the first of many steps as long as the manager is here.”
In the summer of 2016, Rose famously gave an explosive interview with a national newspaper saying Spurs had to start signing players that he did not “have to Google”.
The club hardly took notice as they have gone through the last two transfer windows without signing anyone, though it has not worked out too badly.
“Obviously we don’t know the full ins and outs and why the club hasn’t signed anybody,” the England international said.
“You can either take it that the manager has got full confidence in what he’s worked with in the last two years, that he believes in you and doesn’t want to bring in anyone to challenge for your position.
“Or you can take it that nobody wants to join Tottenham, the club hasn’t been able to provide the funds to buy anyone.
“The whole squad has taken it as the manager believes in us, despite what’s in the media and what I may have said in the past that the manager needs to sign somebody, the manager believes in his way, we’re all behind his way and looks what it’s brought us.
“It’s brought us to a Champions League final, another year of Champions League football next season.
“A lot of credit should go towards the manager, we’ve all done ever so well.”
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