Spurs’ Davison Sanchez has vowed to make his presence known to Liverpool’s forwards in the Champions League final next weekend.
Contemporary strikers in the game – like Bobby Firmino – like to win the ball further up the pitch, but Sanchez is happy enough to hit back just as hard.
Speaking on Sergio Ramos’ performance in the Champions League last season, the Spurs stalwart cites the aggression of players like Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi as inspiration.
“After a few years you have to realise that’s important for some defenders. You have to admit, yes you play football, but at the same time you must not forget you are a defender and have to fight. Put your face in where it hurts,” he’s quoted as saying by the Express.
“Sometimes the striker doesn’t care. You see Roberto Firmino against his guy. Crash. Block. Harry Kane as well. If he has to put his leg in, he will.
“His injury, against Manchester United, was the same. His ankle was injured because he tried to block. And boom. Against City as well. The strikers are more worried about recovering the ball themselves these days and you have to be ready to fight against them.
“Sometimes just playing football is not enough. You have to do more. You have to run more. You have to ‘crash’ more. To – I don’t know – cry more.
“We have to show everyone the right mentality. If we can’t play our football, we have to have another way to do it.
“You can’t be worried about what people say. If you have to crash, you have to crash. You don’t care. You have to tackle. Football is not composed of just taking the ball, or clearing the ball, properly, without touching the opponent?
“No. If you clear the ball and the opponent is in the middle of it… I feel sorry for the opponent!”
It’s pretty clear what’s being said here – Sanchez is letting our front three know they’re in for a physical battle. With the lad clearly admiring players like Sergio Ramos and Maldini, it’ll be a tough test for Bobby, Mo and Sadio on the day.
The 22-year-old hasn’t featured for Spurs since their 1-0 loss to Ajax in the Champions League so I’m unsure if he’s the voice that should be saying this, but here we are.
With Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen likely to start in the final, it won’t be an easy gig for the Reds either way.