Spurs head into this season’s Champions League with fond memories of the last time they went toe-to-toe with Europe’s elite.

Tottenham bosses past and present: Harry Redknapp and Mauricio Pochettino

Harry Redknapp’s Spurs side shocked the footballing public in May 2010 as they qualified for the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history. 

It was not their first time competing with Europe’s heavyweights however, having enjoyed success in the early sixties as Jimmy Greaves’ goals steered them towards a European Cup semi-final in ’62.

But as that competition was given a rebrand in 1992, becoming the UEFA Champions League, Tottenham had to settle for a place in its sister tournament, the UEFA Cup; as Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United established a top four.

After three consecutive appearances in what is now known as the Europa League, Spurs just missed out on continental football as they finished eighth in the 2008/09 Premier League. 

Not having the hindrance of Thursday night games perhaps played in their favour the following season, and with two games left they needed just three points to guarantee that crucial fourth spot. 

In the penultimate game of the season they travelled to Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City, who were themselves on the verge of Champions League qualification, a key objective of their owners since the 2008 takeover.

The Champions League trophy before the game

City had spent over £120 million the previous summer on players such as Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tevez and Roque Santa Cruz, as they attempted to bankroll their way up the European football ladder.

But as a late Peter Crouch header flew past Marton Fulop at the Etihad, Spurs sealed a place in the Champions League qualifying round ahead of the 2010/11 campaign. 

It was no less than Tottenham deserved, having inflicted an unimaginable league double over City, after beating them 3-0 at White Hart Lane in December 2009 in what was Mark Hughes’ penultimate game in charge of his former club.

Spurs’ attacking brand of football in the Champions League drew plaudits as some memorable individual performances saw them finish top of their group.

They then ground out a 1-0 aggregate win over AC Milan in the round of 16, before being thumped 4-0 at the Bernabeu by Real Madrid. By the time the second leg came round, Spurs’ European adventure had reached its climax, and the tie ended 5-0 as Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal at the Lane.

Though the quarter final exit meant that Spurs went out on a whimper, there were plenty of admirable contributions in the 12 games played in Europe that season.

Peter Crouch

6″7 Crouchy was a nuisance to defenders as they failed to deal with his typical English centre forward style of play throughout the competition.  

After losing the first qualifier 3-2 to Swiss side Young Boys, Spurs survived the scare by winning 4-0 at home in the return leg, Crouch scoring a perfect hat-trick. 

He scored home and away in the group stages against Werder Bremen, and after netting against Inter in the famous 3-1 win at White Hart Lane, he scored the only goal of the tie against their neighbours AC in the round of 16.

His tournament ended on a sour note in Madrid, as he received a second yellow card after just 14 minutes. 

Luka Modric


The Croatian midfielder enjoyed a stellar season for Spurs in 2010/11, and despite a number of niggling injuries, was voted as the club’s Player of the Year.

When Gomes was given a straight red in the tenth minute of the 4-3 defeat against Inter Milan, Modric was replaced by Carlo Cudicini. 

However, in the return fixture two weeks later, he was given too much space in the middle of the park, and created the opening goal as he set up Raphael Van der Vaart. 

He scored his only goal of the campaign in the 3-0 win over Werder Bremen in November.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto


Assou-Ekotto was one of the most consistent performers for Tottenham under Harry Redknapp, and in the Champions League he was one of the first players on the team sheet, as he played every minute of the campaign.

He had kept Gareth Bale out of the team in previous seasons, but the two formed a devastating partnership on the left-flank as the Welsh wizard was converted into a winger. 

Raphael Van der Vaart 


Redknapp gained a reputation for being something of a wheeler dealer throughout his managerial career, but the £8 million signing of Real Madrid midfielder Raphael Van Der Vaart on transfer deadline day was the arguably the best piece of business he ever made.

The Dutch playmaker arrived after two seasons in the Spanish capital and added guile to the Spurs attack.

On his Champions League debut for Tottenham he set up Peter Crouch, something that would become a regular occurrence that season as the two formed a sound understanding of one another. 

In the next fixture he scored the opener in the 4-1 victory over FC Twente before adding another to his account against Werder Bremen later in the group stages.

Gareth Bale 

The 2010/11 campaign will be remembered as the year that Gareth Bale stamped his marker on European football.

With Spurs needing a comeback victory after a shock 3-2 defeat against Young Boys in the first leg of the qualifier, Bale set up all four goals in the 4-0 win back at White Hart Lane.

Then, as Tottenham trailed 3-0 to Inter Milan, Bale scored his first career hat-trick after an electrifying performance against one of the world’s best right-backs at the the time, Maicon.

The Brazilian was still suffering two weeks later, when Bale created goals for Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlychenko in a man of the match performance in the famous 3-1 win at White Hart Lane.

His performances did not go unnoticed by his peers as he was voted Welsh Sports Personality of the Year and PFA Player of the Year. 

He stayed at Spurs for two more seasons before becoming the world’s most expensive player in 2013, when he signed for Real Madrid for £85 million.

Since then he has enjoyed phenomenal success in the Champions League, and hist extra time winner against Atletico won Real ‘La Decima’ in 2014. He then won the competition for a second time earlier this year, again against Atletico. 

In other news, Liverpool to miss out as Barcelona reportedly set to seal £3.75m deal for Brazilian