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.
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.
“I’m really happy for both of them,” the former Manchester United and Chelsea boss told Russia Today. “I always used to say that when you get into the quarter-final you are there for a reason.
“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.
“Okay, 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.”