By Richard Martin MADRID (Reuters) – For many years Tottenham Hotspur were the butt of jokes from rival fans for falling just short of winning the big prizes, but they are now hoping Saturday’s Champions League final will give them the perfect opportunity to have the last laugh. Despite a rich history and one of the biggest fan bases in England, Tottenham have won only two trophies — the domestic League Cup in 1999 and 2008 — in the last two decades and until Mauricio Pochettino transformed their fortunes, they were renowned for their failures. They narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification in 2006 as hours before their final match of the season against West Ham United, more than 10 players fell ill with food poisoning after having dinner at the team’s hotel. The now infamous ‘Lasagne-gate’ incident led them to being beaten by West Ham and allowed north London rivals Arsenal to snatch away the Champions League spot. Six years later they blew a 10-point lead over Arsenal to finish fourth and were again denied a Champions League berth because Chelsea won Europe’s elite competition. Rival fans came up with the adjective ‘Spursy’ to describe these failures and… Read full this story
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