Jan Vertonghen hopes ‘crazy’ Champions League campaign ends in glory

Jan Vertonghen is desperate to make sure Tottenham’s “craziest year” ends in Champions League glory.

Spurs have got to the all-English final against Liverpool the hard way as their journey to Madrid has been full of drama.

They have been 10 minutes or less from going out on five occasions, including three times in the group stage, and the late action in their quarter-final at Manchester City and semi-final at Ajax led to some of the most famous scenes in the club’s history.

— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) May 28, 2019

Such a dramatic route to the final has led to the word destiny getting used a lot.

“I think every player has been used in the Champions League and played his part,” he said.

“It’s been the craziest one ever and being at the end of that crazy campaign now is something unbelievable.

Tottenham Hotspur Champions League Press Day – Enfield Training Ground
Jan Vertonghen, left, and fellow defender Toby Alderweireld during a training session (Paul Harding/PA)

“We all played our parts and hopefully we can hold the trophy at the end of the game.

“In the group stages, we should not have lost that away game at Inter, we got one point after three games, the Barca away game… there are so many I can’t tell them all but it’s been crazy.

“To be playing in a Champions League final is something to cherish.

“How many games have we played to get here eventually? Twelve games? In every single one of them, something crazy happened.

“At the end of my career, I’ll hopefully look at this and think this was the most beautiful and craziest year of them all.

“I don’t know about destiny. We have to win it, if it is to be destiny. We feel very confident because of our campaign as well.

“I will always be able to say I was part of a Champions League final but you want to tell a different story to your kids and this is the ideal script.”

Tottenham got to final after a memorable night at Ajax in the semi-final
Tottenham got to final after a memorable night at Ajax in the semi-final (Adam Davy/PA)

Their run to the Champions League final – the biggest game of the club’s illustrious career – is the culmination of a five-year project under boss Mauricio Pochettino.

No one expected them to be challenging for such honours so quickly, having also been title contenders for the Premier League in 2016, but Vertonghen always knew something special was possible.

“The first two years I was here were Europa League nights, but it’s what we’ve been working on,” he added.

“Maybe outside, they did not expect a Champions League final, and I can understand that.

“But I think we’ve got an unbelievable group of players. There’s so much quality. Quality-wise, for me, it’s not a surprise.

“Five years ago, he picked this club up and brought us to the level we are at now. He’s done some unbelievable work.

“We have a great group of players, lots of young guys from the academy, lots of English internationals and guys from abroad who have a proper connection with the club now.

“All the guys together, here for so long with the manager, it’s got us to this level.

“We always want to remember this team as a team that was able to win the trophy. I’m sure we have the quality to do so.”