A UEFA Champions League runner-up with Liverpool FC in 2007, Peter Crouch believes his Tottenham Hotspur FC side have the ability to make a similar impact this season after they safely navigated the play-off round to rejoin Europe's elite after a 48-year absence.
The Tottenham striker showed his less experienced team-mates the way by spearheading their progress to a maiden group-stage appearance with a hat-trick in an impressive 4-0 second-leg victory against BSC Young Boys to complete a 6-3 aggregate triumph. The 29-year-old is now adamant the London club can successfully rub shoulders with the cream of the continent, with the stellar names in Thursday's draw firmly in his thoughts.
"It's a massive achievement," he said. "If we had gone out with a whimper in a two-legged affair it would have been disappointing. We worked so hard for it last year and now we've got the opportunity to draw a Barcelona, Inter Milan or Real Madrid. Spurs are a club that should be in the Champions League and we're looking forward to it.
You never know how good you are until you play against the best teams."
Crouch scored four times in the group stage, then in each leg of the quarter-final against PSV Eindhoven to help Liverpool reach the 2007 final, where they lost 2-1 to AC Milan, and the sound of the UEFA Champions League anthem certainly brings out the best in the England international. "It's such an amazing theme tune – the hairs on the back of your neck stand up," he said. "When you hear that music you realise you are playing in the biggest competition in the world.
"I was lucky enough to get to the final with Liverpool and I wouldn't say this team is any worse," added Crouch. "We've got some fantastic match-winning players. We're organised, can do a job away from home and I don't think any team would enjoy coming to White Hart Lane. We've got players who can take the game to them and on our day we can beat anyone. We've got enough about us to have a good run.
We're happy and privileged to be in the competition and will give a good account of ourselves."
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