AS Roma have reached the UEFA Europa Conference League final.
Insert whatever jokes you might want to get off your chest about UEFA’s third-string competition, but if you’re in it, then you’re in it to win it and that’s certainly the case for Jose Mourinho.
With his Roma side seemingly on course for a fifth-place finish in Serie A, then competing in the European competitions beneath the Champions League is going to be the order of the day for the foreseeable future.
AS Roma vs Leicester City
And you certainly can’t accuse Mourinho of not grabbing Roma’s best opportunity at continental silverware with both hands, steering his team into the final where they will face Feyenoord.
Plus, the Italian giants’ semi-final opposition most certainly weren’t pushovers as Mourinho reunited with the team, Leicester City, that brought the curtain down on his second Chelsea spell.
With the Foxes within touching distance of their first ever European trophy, you could tell that they were fired up to overcome Roma in the final four and book themselves a flight to Tirana, Albania.
And the tie was finely poised going into the second leg at the Stadio Olimpico with Lorenzo Pellegrini’s strike and a Gianluca Mancini own goal having seen the first match end 1-1.
Soccer Football – Europa Conference League – Semi Final – Second Leg – AS Roma v Leicester City – Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy – May 5, 2022 AS Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo in action with Leicester City’s Wesley Fofana REUTERS/Alberto Lingria
AS Roma reach the UECL final
However, once the floodlights flickered on in Rome, it was a gladiatorial battle that Mourinho simply wasn’t going to lose as Tammy Abraham fired the hosts into the lead with a first-half header.
And they didn’t look back from there with Roma ultimately seeing the game out to win 1-0 on the evening, therefore 2-1 on aggregate, to spark emotional scenes for Mourinho on the touchline.
The ‘Special One’ hasn’t lifted a trophy since 2017, which is just about as huge as a trophy drought gets for him, so you could tell that reaching a European final once again really meant a lot to him personally.
ROME, ITALY – MAY 05: AS Roma head coach Jose Mourinho gestures during the UEFA Conference League Semi Final Leg Two match between AS Roma and Leicester at Stadio Olimpico on May 5, 2022 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
Mourinho wells up at full-time
In fact, footage has emerged after Roma’s win that makes our statement look like, well, an understatement because Mourinho could be seen welling up as the final whistle was blown.
Tearing up as he walked towards the dugout and embracing his coaching staff with unabashed delight, it really was a moment that reminds the world just how much football means to Mourinho.
He might not be everyone’s cup of tea and he certainly doesn’t play the most aesthetically-pleasing football, but just try to watch his reaction to Roma’s win and not even crack a smile.
Jose mourinho tearing up after the final whistle 😭❤https://t.co/6rW9k2mQZl
— J (@MourinhoPics) May 5, 2022
José Mourinho in tears after reaching the Conference final. Might not be the biggest final in his career, but man does this show how much he loves the game. Imagine not loving this man. pic.twitter.com/ZNXoAGqzOq
— Xav Salazar (@XavsFutbol) May 5, 2022
Jose Mourinho in tears.
You can see what this means to José. He will do anything to bring this city, this club, to glory. And lets be honest, it’s a message to the world that he is still the special one.pic.twitter.com/3ILYrDBNvt
— Lupo TV (@LupoTVofficial) May 5, 2022
Look. At. What. It. Means.
Mourinho eyeing European silverware
Mourinho has come in for no end of criticism since his second stab as Chelsea manager came apart at the seams, but who knows, perhaps his Roma tenure could remind the world of his greatness.
Yes, it’s not been all plain-sailing in the league and yes, he’s lost his temper at times, but securing Roma’s first major European trophy would be one hell of a way to end his first season in charge.
However, as Mourinho knows better than most, there is still one game left to play before he can boast about having won all three of UEFA’s European competitions.
Soccer Football – Europa Conference League – Semi Final – Second Leg – AS Roma v Leicester City – Stadio Olimpico, Roma, Italy – May 5, 2022 AS Roma coach Jose Mourinho during the match REUTERS/Alberto Lingria
But although Feyenoord will give the Romans a good run for their money at Arena Kombëtare on May 25, the simple fact of the matter is that Mourinho has never lost a continental final.
So, when the tears dry and the champagne runs out, you can rest assured that the ‘Special One’ will be more focused than ever to ensure that Roma end their season with UEFA Europa Conference League glory.
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