Lucas Moura has admitted he was “very, very sad” after Tottenham’s Champions League final defeat but respected Mauricio Pochettino’s decision to begin with him on the bench.
Spurs lost 2-0 to Liverpool in Madrid, with Mohamed Salah’s early penalty and Divock Origi’s late strike proving decisive.
Lucas scored an incredible hat-trick in the memorable semi-final second leg victory over Ajax but began the final among the substitutes after Pochettino opted to start Harry Kane up front.
There has since been some criticism of Pochettino’s choice, although most sensible onlookers recognise Kane’s importance to the team.
“I was very, very sad,” said the Brazilian. “It’s normal, I wanted to win. I really thought it was possible. I am sad but very proud of my teammates, my team. I think we had a wonderful season. It was not easy to reach the final.
“Of course I wanted to start but it’s the coach’s decision. He must choose a starting eleven, I must respect it.
“Most importantly, I was ready to play. I was on the bench thinking about what I could do to help the team. When I entered, I tried to do the best but it was not possible. It’s football, you have to respect the coach.”
Tottenham must now strengthen with signings this summer in a bid to return to the latter stages of Champions League next season.
Lucas will prove to be an important squad member again next term – he may even kick on and fight for a regular starting spot.
The 26-year-old has four years remaining on his current contract.