Sporting midfielder Marcus Edwards admits scoring against his former club Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League was an emotional moment.
Edwards, 23, joined Spurs as an eight-year-old and came through the academy before leaving in 2019. His first return to north London saw him net for Sporting in the 1-1 Group D draw that left qualification to the knockout stages to be decided in the final game.
He insisted he did not have a point to prove to his former club, but said playing in front of his friends and family was an extra motivation.
“Coming back here in front of everyone I know, it was great fun,” he said.
"I didn't want to celebrate but my family and friends are here!"
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 26, 2022
“Coming into the game I was naturally on edge, I have got a lot of friends watching. When the game started it was easy, obviously I scored, a lot of emotions came out of me, I didn’t even mean to celebrate but I just couldn’t help myself. “I wasn’t going to celebrate but I was too happy. I can’t put it into words. It was crazy. I can’t explain it. I don’t feel like that I was proving a point, I just play every game the same even if it is against my old club. The extra motivation was having my friends and family there.”
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) October 26, 2022
Big things were expected of Edwards as he came through the ranks at Spurs, though he was not helped by former boss Mauricio Pochettino comparing him to Lionel Messi. But things did not work out and after a loan spell at Norwich and he left the club in 2019.
Edwards admits he has grown up since then. “Definitely, that is naturally going to happen with age,” he said. “I have grown up in a lot of ways, I’m 23 and last time I was at Tottenham, I was only 17, 18, I was only a baby so I have definitely grown up.
🏟️ Marcus Edwards back at Spurs with a goalscoring Man of the Match display for Sporting 👏
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 27, 2022
“I was just a kid, you know what kids are like. I was just a kid growing up, so I could be like, whatever. Of course I was naturally a bit of a Spurs fan but I was playing for the club and went to all the games and stuff.
Marcus Edwards opens door to England return.
Asked if he would recommend other players go to Portugal, Edwards said: “Definitely. Everyone has a different journey. For me it worked out, going over there and it clicked straight away.
“It has been good for me, but I would love to play in England [again] and be near my family.”