Friday, July 19, 2024

Mourinho moved to tears after guiding Roma to first European final in 31 years

Jose Mourinho was moved to tears after seeing Roma edge out Leicester to book their place in the 2021-22 Europa Conference League final.

The Portuguese has grown accustomed to competing for major honours down the years, but success in the Italian capital clearly means a lot to him.

A solitary strike from Tammy Abraham at Stadio Olimpico was enough to secure a 2-1 aggregate victory for the Serie A heavyweights over Premier League opposition, with Feyenoord now set to be faced in Tirana on May 25 with major silverware on the line.

Portuguese tactician Mourinho has grown accustomed to competing for top honours, and is now the first manager to reach the final of a continental competition with four different clubs, but success means as much to the 59-year-old now as it has ever done.

Emotion spilled out of Mourinho at the final whistle in Rome, and the tears were still flowing as he made his way back to the dressing room.

He told reporters afterwards on why a shot at another trophy with Roma means so much to him: “I am very emotional. This for us is our Champions League.

“When you work in Rome, live in Rome and breathe Rome, you breathe this club because it is the real club of the city.

“I felt from day one it is huge, but no victories and not many finals. The history is not related to the social dimension of the club.

“We managed to build an OK team that grew step by step so we could beat a Premier League [team]. Of course, I have had bigger moments than this but I am not feeling for myself, I am feeling for the people and my players.”

Mourinho began his European trophy collection while calling the shots at Porto, with UEFA Cup and Champions League successes savoured there.

He went on to claim continental football’s prize for a second time while working at another Serie A giant, Inter.

Europa League glory was then savoured with Manchester United in 2016-17 – which remains the last entry on the Red Devils’ roll of honour – and he has now guided Roma to the Europa Conference League final.

Said outing will be the Giallorossi’s first in a European showpiece since 1991, when they lost to domestic rivals Inter in the UEFA Cup final.



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