By Riegan Thompson

As one of the leading coaches in the Premier League today, Mauricio Pochettino’s insistence on the importance of education for any aspiring coach should be taken at face value.

In an exclusive interview with UCFB, the Tottenham Hotspur boss made no secret of his passion for education, having completed a university degree after he retired from playing at the age of 34.

The Argentinian said: “I think it is key, education is very important for me. When I was 17 years old I used to think it would be easy to coach and manage people. But when you finish your career and you start to prepare to move into management you realise it is important to have knowledge, not only about football but outside the game as well. It is very important to learn a lot and improve yourself before you start your managerial career.”

Following his career as a fearsome defender at the heart of the defence for Espanyol, PSG and Argentina, Pochettino was determined to explore the options available to him. He told UCFB how his experience at university has helped him in his career as a coach.

He said: “When I finished my playing career it was important to get out of the bubble and be around different areas of societies. I wanted to open my mind and see different aspects of life. It was very important for me to be in university and be around people who wanted to build their future.”

The former Southampton boss added: “I think you need to build your life after being a footballer. When I finished my career I felt I needed to mature and have an idea of what I needed to do.”

The Spurs boss, who will be hoping his team’s recent league form will soon turn into trophies, then passed on one final message for UCFB students to take with them into their studies.

He said: “Be yourself, follow your heart and follow your dreams. Be natural and spontaneous but most of all never regret anything.”

Mauricio Pochettino spoke to UCFB, in partnership with the League Managers Association.