Dimitar Berbatov believes his former club Tottenham have a ’50/50′ chance of reaching the Champions League final.
Spurs overcame tournament favourites Manchester City in the previous round to book their place in the last four, while Ajax have knocked out Juventus and Real Madrid on their path to the semi-finals.
Tottenham will fancy their chances of progressing to the final in Madrid but Berbatov has warned his former side not to underestimate the Dutch side and says the tie is very much in the balance.
‘Ajax is a great opportunity [for Spurs] but this is what Real Madrid and Juventus thought. I think the game is pretty even, it’s 50/50,’ Berbatov told Metro.co.uk.
‘They play very similar football. Spurs from Ajax have Vertonghen, Eriksen, Alderweireld, Sanchez….I see the connection. I think it shows.
‘Ajax have great players again now in De Ligt, De Jong and Tadic, who was at Southampton and now he’s destroying Real Madrid – it’s crazy.
‘They play with no pressure up until this point but maybe now they will start thinking about the final.
‘I was in the same position with Bayer Leverkusen in 2002 against Manchester United. We were in the semi-finals, we knew if we beat them we’re in the final of Champions League. Then you start thinking….wow we’re near the final of the Champions League what the are we doing here?!’
Ajax have stunned Real Madrid and Juventus on their way to the last four and star man Frenkie De Jong has already been snapped up by Barcelona for a fee of around £75million.
The Dutch club face a struggle to hold on to captain Matthijs de Ligt and Berbatov admits he’s been stunned by the youngster’s performances this term.
‘De Ligt – he’s what…19? This you do not see so often,’ said Berbatov.
‘He’s the captain. How mature do you have to be to captain a side with other players that might be 28,29,30 years old?
‘He’s the guy with the responsibility. He has the physique, the brains. He has the calmness, the confidence oozes from him.
‘How do you teach players like this? It’s amazing. If you want to play football, you need to have that confidence and that’s why I love how Ajax play.’
Berbatov swapped Tottenham for Manchester United in 2008 and played in a Champions League final at the end of his first season with the club, losing 2-0 to Barcelona in Rome.
Tottenham have closed the gap on the Red Devils since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013 and are almost certain to finish above Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in the Premier League this term.
The Bulgarian admits it would be ‘unbelievable’ for the club to win the Champions League and says Spurs were only at the start of their journey when he joined in 2006.
‘They were starting to build,’ said Berbatov.
‘I said to Daniel [Levy] the other day at the Spurs legends match when we play Inter: “Congratulations. The stadium, the training ground, it’s unbelievable. But why was this not here when I was there?!”‘
‘When you see it now, you want to play. It’s there for you to play football and to enjoy. For them to be in the semi-finals of the Champions League it is a fairytale.
‘If they go to the final it’s up to them but they fully deserve it. If they can win it then my god, unbelievable.’
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