Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Moussa Sissoko has been reflecting on his time with the north London club.
The Frenchman was a regular feature under Mauricio Pochettino during his Spurs days and started the UEFA Champions League final against Liverpool back in 2019.
The central midfielder was penalised in just 22 seconds into the final in Madrid over a controversial handball decision which proved to be a pivotal moment in the match after Mohamed Salah converted from the spot.
Liverpool went on to win the match 2-0 with Divock Origi doubling Jurgen Klopp’s side advantage late in the game, with Tottenham failing to recoer from the early decision by the man in the middle, Damir Skomina.
A HUGE decision just 22 seconds into the #UCLfinal ?
This was the penalty awarded to Liverpool after Moussa Sissoko's handball… pic.twitter.com/FypjV9GMNA
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) June 1, 2019
Sissoko revealed in an interview with French news outlet L’Equipe that it would be a completely different outcome if the final had taken place now: “I think nowadays that wouldn’t be given, because it touches my chest first. I try to bring my arm down and then it touches the hand. It was bad luck and the turning point in the match. 1-0 down so quickly, it changes the match.”
The French international also praised Pochettino by claiming the Argentine had a profound impact on his development and praised him for sticking by him after a tough start to life at the club.
He said: “He is the manager I learned the most from on a technical, tactical, even mental level and the one under whom I improved the most. I arrived in a team that was performing well and played a less attacking role than the one I played at Newcastle. I didn’t have a starting spot from the beginning, but he persevered with me.”
He continued: “We didn’t lack much to win titles, we had the team to win them. We still experienced great moments, notably the run to the Champions League final in 2019.”
Sissoko departed Spurs for Watford last summer and recently departed the relegated Hornets to return to France in a £1.8m deal to join Nantes on a two-year deal (The Sun).
Sissoko didn’t have the easiest of starts at Tottenham but did bounce back to become a dependable member of the squad, without setting the stage alight.
He had a respectable career during his time in N17, where made 201 appearances in all competitions, netting five goals while assisting on 16 occasions (Transfermarkt).
The handball decision changed the tide of the game and should have been reviewed by VAR, however, it should not take anything away from Tottenham’s dream run to the final that season, despite narrowly falling short of the finish line.