Jose Mourinho committed to AS Roma even after Conference League triumph2 min read
Jose Mourinho has declared he is “100 per cent Roma” after their 1-0 Europa Conference League final triumph over Feyenoord on Wednesday.
Playing in their first continental showpiece since losing the 1984 European Cup final to Liverpool, Nicolo Zaniolo scored the only goal for the Giallorossi, poking the ball home in the 32nd minute after chesting down Gianluca Mancini’s ball over the top of the defence.
The victory in Tirana gave the Serie A club their first major European trophy.
In his first season at Roma, Mourinho has now emulated Giovanni Trapattoni’s feat of winning a European trophy in three separate decades.
Despite famously leaving in the following off-season after winning the Champions League with Porto and Inter, the 59-year-old asserted he wants to stay and build on this success in the Italian capital.
“I remain, even if some voice or offer arrives,” Mourinho said. “I want to stay in Rome and we need to understand what our owners want to do in the next season because we can follow up on this story, we must define the direction for the next season.
“I feel like a Roma player, like I feel like an Inter fan, a Chelsista, I’m crazy about Real Madrid, but for all due respect for the clubs I have worked for, I feel 100 per cent Roma.
“The beautiful thing about my career beyond winning with Manchester United, winning with Porto, Inter and now with Roma is something special. Winning when everyone expects it is easy, while it is special to win when you do something truly historic. I hope the fans wait for us and celebrate with us all.”
In distinct Mourinho fashion, the Giallorossi were able to absorb pressure once they took the lead, only holding 33 per cent of possession over the 90 minutes.
Feyenoord could do very little in breaking Roma down, generating only three shots from open play in the penalty area in the match, despite how much of the ball they had.
For Mourinho and Roma, the Conference League had become a priority and he was pleased this trophy had not c1ome at the expense of domestic ambitions.
“There are so many things going on in my head right now,” he said. “I have been in Rome for 11 months and I immediately understood where I was.
“As I told the boys, in Turin in the locker room, we did what we had to do, our job. But today it wasn’t work, it was history and we wrote history. The Conference League is a competition that we thought we could win from the start, slowly becoming stronger and stronger and we met stronger and stronger teams.
“But we were aiming for it and sacrificed a few points in the league without losing qualification for the Europa League.”