Victor Wanyama has stated that he is grateful to Celtic manager Neil Lennon, who encouraged him to believe that he can compete at the highest level.
The Harambee Stars captain is hoping to start in the biggest game of his career on Saturday night.
“I’ll always be grateful to Celtic for what they did for me and my career and I’ll always be grateful to Neil,” Wanyama is quoted by the Scottish Sun.
“Celtic taught me what the Champions League was about. He taught me that it doesn’t matter who the opponents are or what they can do or who is in their team.
“We faced big teams with Celtic in the Champions League but we did it with belief. I learned so much from him about that. Neil gave me a platform and also a belief that I could go and play at the highest level.”
Lennon signed Wanyama as a teenager in 2011 from Beerschot for just £900,000. The midfielder was sold to Southampton for a then-record Scottish transfer fee of £12.5million two years later, before moving to Spurs in 2016.
Wanyama, a Champions League scorer for the Hoops against Barcelona, added: “Neil was there and he taught me so much about the game and the competition.
“And then when I came to Spurs I have learned so much from the gaffer here. I think he [Lennon] is a fantastic manager and a fantastic coach but he is also a good man.
“He taught me the game. He made me a mature player. He gave me that understanding which let me go on.”