THEY say Paris is the city of love, so no wonder Mauricio Pochettino fell for their football team's charms.

The former Spurs boss is the hot favourite to replace Thomas Tuchel at PSG, after the German's dismissal was finally confirmed.

As a ball-playing centre half, Poch, now 48, enjoyed his best years as a player at the Parc des Princes as club captain.

Not only did he rediscover his form and earn a call-up to Argentina's 2002 World Cup squad, he also played alongside high-profile team mates, including Ronaldinho during a glamorous era for the French giants.

While they may not have been as successful in terms of winning trophies, they were lauded for their style of play under Luis Fernandez.

And Pochettino, himself, has made no secret of wanting to manage the side who made him fall in love with the beautiful all over again.

SPIRITUAL HOME

Over the years, Pochettino has stressed his desire to return to PSG – his spiritual home.

In 2016, he flirted with his former employers – revealing it would be his dream job to take the reigns one day, and he remains an avid fan.

“I’ve always said that I would be pleased to join a great club like PSG,” Pochettino told French radio station RMC.


“Come to Paris? I hope so. It is true that it would please me. It’s part of my dreams. I try to watch all their matches, especially in the Champions League.”

Ex-team mate Didier Domi believes appointing Pochettino is a no-brainer saying he "already belongs to the family" at PSG.

"He ticks all the boxes and has everything to succeed: a good relationship with the players and a good organisation with his staff," he added.

"He knows how to manage the pressure and his football ideas stick with Paris. He has all the cards in hand."

And as for Paris itself, Poch is said to have loved his time living in France – having been entranced by the rich culture the city thrives on.

A FORMER HERO

Like Frank Lampard at Chelsea, Pochettino will be returning to a club who adored him as a player.

He began his career under the tutorage of Marcelo Bielsa at Newell's Old Boys, where he won the Argentine Primera Division in the early 90s.

Then he became a legend at Espanyol, winning the Copa del Rey twice for a club that lives beneath the shadow of their noisy neighbours Barcelona.



But in 2001 he joined PSG for a new challenge at the age of 29 and seamlessly slotted into their defence.

He captained the side and played 95 games across three seasons and won plenty of admirers for his desire and determination.

DREAM TEAM

PSG were glam in the early 2000s, and almost comparable to the team built by current owners Qatar Sports Investments.

However, they didn't achieve the success Neymar, Mbappe, Di Maria and Co have had in the modern day.

During Pochettino's career with the Parisians he won an Intertoto Cup in 2001 and a runner-up medal in the Coupe de France – but the French championship eluded him.

Shocking really considering the talent Fernandez had at his disposal.

Poch enjoyed two seasons playing with Ronaldinho, before the Brazilian moved to Barcelona and became a global phenomenon.

He played alongside fellow Argentinian Gabriel Heinze – who later starred for Manchester United.



There was a year each with Nicolas Anelka, Jay-Jay Okocha and Laurent Robert, and two with a teenage Mikel Arteta.

Captaining all those superstars will certainly put Poch in good stead for managing today's current crop.

And just maybe he will finally win a league title with the club he fell in love with 20 years ago.

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