MAURICIO Pochettino revealed how former chairman Nicola Cortese had asked him to bring a Barcelona philosophy to Saints, adding: "We changed the mentality of English football a bit."

Pochettino arrived on the south coast from Espanyol in January 2013 to replace Nigel Adkins and guided them to an eighth-placed finish in the Premier League.

The Argentinean then led Saints to seventh the following season before departing for Tottenham.

And speaking in an interview with Spanish outlet El Pais, Pochettino explained how early conversations with then-chairman Cortese went.

"It was not easy because one of the first things the president (Cortese) told me was that he signed me because he wanted the team to play as the 'Dream Team'," said Pochettino, in quotes translated from El Pais.

"He showed us a video of that Barca (and said) 'this is my philosophy - apply it!'"

Asked what his response was to Cortese, Pochettino joked: "That Messi, Xavi, Iniesta had to be bought!

"But the most beautiful thing and what remains is that with those young and English players – Clyne, Lambert, Jay Rodriguez, Ward-Prowse, Cork, Lallana, Shaw, Chambers – we started to propose a different football.

"In the second season, in November, we had the possibility to put ourselves first playing against Arsenal.

"That attracted attention. It was not the way to press but how we played from behind, with positional attack, retrieve the ball high and attack fast. It was a change of mentality and it was seen that the English could do it.

"I think together with Brendan Rodgers we changed the mentality of English football a bit. And the arrival of Pep later cemented and settled everything.

"That positional game has invaded world football."