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Mousa Dembélé

Pochettino's Maradona and Ronaldinho comparisons nothing new for Dembele

10:35 EAT 06/03/2018
MousaDembele - cropped
The midfielder's performances drew special praise from his coach but he is used to being told he is capable of great things in his career

Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele appreciates being compared to all-time greats such as Diego Maradona nad Ronaldinho by coach Mauricio Pochettino and he is eager to win trophies for the manager.

Dembele, 30, was lauded by Pochettino as a "genius" capable of reaching the top of world football just as the Argentine and Brazilian icons did.

While the midfielder said those words from his boss were nice to hear, he is used to such big claims from his coach at this point.

"In the past we spoke a lot as well, so it's not something new you're telling me. He speaks a lot with me and gives me confidence," Dembele told reporters.

"He's mentioned these kinds of things to me in the past. Obviously he's been giving me confidence and it's a good thing, but you always want to win something, so it doesn't change my role.

"It's a good feeling. Everybody likes to be appreciated. It's a good feeling, but there's so much to play for still."

Spurs are set to face Swansea in the FA Cup quarter-finals later this month and are well-placed in the Champions League, having grabbed a 2-2 draw at Juventus in the first leg of their last-16 tie before they host the Serie A giants for the return on Wednesday.

Dembele said his team, who sit fourth in the Premier League, have nothing to fear against Europe's biggest clubs.

"Obviously, the way we've played over a few years already, we've shown everyone that we can play very well against top teams," he said.

"It doesn't surprise me that we can play good against these teams. The Champions League is a different type of tournament, anything can happen and we have a lot of confidence.

"Against Juve, against [Real] Madrid: we were not scared of them. The thing is now we have to keep focused. The next game is Juve and we can do something."