Mauricio Pochettino wary of 'painful' Champions League final selection decision
"We are going to take the best decision to try and win, but like always in football, it is so painful when this type of game arrives and you can only use from the beginning eleven players."
Last Updated: 01/06/19 6:54pm
Mauricio Pochettino admits he faces a "painful" decision when naming his starting team for the Champions League final as he remained guarded about Harry Kane's fitness.
Kane has been out of action since April 9 when he damaged his ankle against Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-final.
The England captain says he is ready to return to the side as Spurs prepare to take on Liverpool in the biggest match in the club's history.
Pochettino has to decide whether to keep faith with the players who completed the remarkable semi-final comeback against Ajax - led by hat-trick hero Lucas Moura - or gamble on Kane.
"All the decisions are tough decisions, it is so painful," said Pochettino.
"But it is part of my job to decide how to pick the starting XI. This is not going to be easy to make a decision tomorrow.
"We are going to take the best decision to try and win, but like always in football, it is so painful when this type of game arrives and you can only use from the beginning eleven players.
"That is the most painful situation."
While both Spurs and Pochettino prepare for their first Champions League final, his opposite number, Jurgen Klopp, is a comparative veteran in European football's showpiece - making his third appearance.
The Liverpool boss is trying to avoid an unwanted hat-trick after defeat to Real Madrid last year, and disappointment in 2013 when Borussia Dortmund lost 2-1 to Bayern Munich at Wembley.
Pochettino offered some praise and sympathy.
"For Jurgen to be here 10 months ago and be here again now is special. I admire Jurgen a lot. He's a very good example," he said.
"Maybe he has been a little bit unlucky, but it is the third time he is going to arrive at this final - the most difficult thing is to arrive at the final.
"Sometimes the universe is with you, sometimes it's against you, but to arrive in a third champions league final? I admire him a lot.
"Of course we are in football because we want to win but I think the journey to the final of the Champions League is the most important and the most difficult thing."
Follow the Champions League final on Sky Sports
You can follow all of the action of Tottenham vs Liverpool from the Wanda Metropolitano on the Sky Sports app and skysports.com with our dedicated Champions League final live blog, which will feature the best build-up, commentary and reaction from Madrid.
The Champions League final will take place on June 1, 2019; Kick-off is at 8pm.