High-profile teams have been knocked out of Europe by both sides and the ex-Man United boss feels anything is possible for the surprise packages.
Jose Mourinho has said that he would not be shocked if Tottenham or Ajax win the Champions League despite both the Premier League and Eredivisie sides being considered underdogs, with Barcelona and Liverpool also in the competition.
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Spurs surprised the
football world earlier this week as they held their nerve to beat Manchester City on away
goals in the quarter-finals, with Pep Guardiola’s charges being
counted among the favourites to lift the trophy before that result.
That feat was made
all the more dramatic due to the absence of Harry Kane, who may not feature
again this season through injury, as the club had to rely on Son Heung-min and
Fernando Llorente at the head of their attack.
Ajax themselves overcame the odds against European giants Real Madrid and Juventus to make it to the semi-finals, although the Dutch club are still considered by many to be a long-shot bet to secure their first Champions League title since 1995.
Regardless, Mourinho is not putting it past either side to go all the way.
“The group phase, sometimes you get a little
bit lucky, sometimes your opponent is not as good as expected, sometimes you
are lucky in the last-16 draw.
But when you get into the quarter-finals, in a very respectful way, I always
say there’s a 12.5 per cent chance for each team [to win].
“When you get to
the semi-finals it’s even more, 25% for each one. I wouldn’t be surprised if
Ajax or Tottenham win the Champions League.
maybe I would be a little bit surprised, but I wouldn’t be in shock because
they are in the semi-finals and one of them will go to the final and the final
is a final, it’s one game. It’s 90 minutes, it’s the game of a career for the
majority of the people.
“I think they’ll both be dreaming about it and they have good reason to dream about it. Ajax are giant killers and Tottenham – we can’t say giant killers because City have no tradition of success in the Champions League – but they are a top team in the country and they beat them too. It’s a 50/50.”