Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho’s Champions League hero was not Harry Kane but a ball boy
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There can be no doubt as to who emerged the star of Tottenham’s exciting 4-2 victory over Olympiakos in the Champions League group stage on Tuesday night.
Harry Kane and Lucas Moura may have earned the highest scores in ESPN’s player ratings, but Tottenham’s real Man of the Match was not even on the field.
We are of course talking about the ball boy who, unlikely as it may seem, helped turn the tide of the match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with a quick-thinking “assist” for Spurs’ 50th-minute equaliser.
With Jose Mourinho’s side trailing 2-1 on the Portuguese manager’s first home match in charge, the ball boy sprung to the rescue by rapidly returning the ball to the touchline, which led to Lucas slinging a deep cross into the Olympiakos box which Kane nodded home.
Mourinho made sure to offer his thanks to the instigator of the whole attacking move while his team celebrated drawing themselves level.
Jose Mourinho at Tottenham is a new man 🙌pic.twitter.com/rwR8dMAPyo
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 26, 2019
The boss was full of praise for the lad after the final whistle, though not without paying himself a compliment as well.
“I love intelligent ball boys, like I was,” the Spurs boss told BT Sport. “I was a brilliant ball boy as a kid. This kid today was brilliant. He reads the game, understands the game and made an important assist.”
Speaking at his postmatch news conference, Mourinho also revealed that he intended to extend an invite to the ball boy to join the Spurs team in the dressing room to celebrate, but the youngster had already disappeared.
Jose Mourinho wanted to invite the @SpursOfficial ball boy into the dressing room to celebrate after his helping hand in the build up to the second goal against Olympiakos 💙⚽️ pic.twitter.com/gk9SS2Q5xX
— Hayters TV (@HaytersTV) November 27, 2019
Did he mention that he was an excellent ball boy himself?
Hazard, Klopp, Ronaldo have had their own run-ins with ball boys
While at Chelsea, Hazard saw his public standing take a bit of a dent in 2013 when he petulantly kicked out at a time-wasting Swansea ball boy during a League Cup tie.
The Belgium forward was shown a red card for his misdemeanor, for which he subsequently issued a public apology.
Did that Everton ballboy just sarcastically clap Jurgen Klopp?! 🤦♂️🤣 pic.twitter.com/4cVQq4CDFh
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) March 3, 2019
The Liverpool manager found himself on the wrong end of a trolling when an Everton ball boy decided to give him a sarcastic clap following the Merseyside derby in March 2019.
This plucky Atletico Madrid ball boy incurred the wrath of CR7 by messing him about in wonderfully slapstick fashion during a derby in 2014.
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) July 6, 2016
Indeed, Ronaldo seems to attract the cheekier ball boy, with this youngster making a pest of himself by getting a prematch selfie before Portugal’s Euro 2016 semifinal against Wales.