After coming excruciatingly close to winning the biggest piece of silverware on offer in Europe, Jan Vertonghen is ready to challenge for top honours with Tottenham once more in the 2019/20 season.
When it comes to the bigger picture, Vertonghen can certainly look back on the past 12 months or so with pride having been part of the Belgium side that finished third at the 2018 FIFA World Cup last summer, before reaching the UEFA Champions League final with Spurs back in June.
Vertonghen: Tottenham still hungry for success
Still, it was a case of so near yet so far especially on the club front, as Tottenham conceded a controversial penalty in the opening minute of the final in what was ultimately a 2-0 defeat to Premier League rivals Liverpool.
Vertonghen is certainly no stranger to silverware having won two Eredivisie titles and two KNVB Cups in his time at Ajax.
But, considering his last trophy came in 2012, the classy defender is more than ready to return to the winners’ podium.
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“Yeah, we [came] very close last season and I think we’re getting closer every single time,” Vertonghen told FOX Sports Asia in a one-on-one interview, mere hours after Spurs touched down in Singapore ahead of Sunday’s International Champions Cup meeting with Juventus.
“The hunger [to win] is still there.
“Coming back from last season, where we did very well, I think that gives us the confidence that we know now that we can compete on the highest level.
“With a good pre-season behind us, hopefully we can get off to a good start and aim for the highest.”
After Sunday’s game, Mauricio Pochettino’s charges will spend more time in Asia with a game against Manchester United in Shanghai next Thursday before finishing up the rest of their pre-season back in Europe.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) July 18, 2019
Although Vertonghen concedes that the nature of being a professional footballer based in Europe makes it tough to travel far for a vacation, the 32-year-old highlighted a few countries – which should be music to the ears of many of his fans – he would like to visit when he finally hangs up his boots.
“[There are] loads of places I’d love to visit in Asia,” added the Belgian.
“It’s just a bit too far for me to [come here] in the off-season during my career. But after my career, I definitely want to visit different places in Asia.
“I’d like [to visit] Vietnam or Malaysia, maybe Singapore”.