Friday, September 22, 2023

How José Mourinho earned the adoration of Roma’s passionate supporters

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Shreya Christina
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The Renaissance painter Giotto di Bondone once described Rome as ‘the city of echoes, the city of illusions and the city of desire’, and it is that last word that perhaps best defined AS Roma’s impassioned supporters when José Mourinho took over the reins in the club last summer. This was a team marked by near misses in modern times and failures to fulfill their potential, burdened forever by the echoes of faded glory. There was a hunger for trophies that infected every fan.

A year later, Mourinho has built his own footballing Roman Empire, taking Roma’s first meaningful title in 14 years and bringing a glorious end to a period of mediocrity and frustration. Their victory in the inaugural edition of the Europa Conference League was celebrated as if it were the Champions League, but that just goes to show how important it is to win at this club, where history breathes every player’s neck as they take the lead. exit the tunnel.

Roma were favorite in the football betting for the final against Feyenoord, and they delivered a performance that matched perfectly with the qualities their coach possesses. After taking the lead in the first half, Roma’s game was one of defensive confidence, percentage plays and tenacity, and their Dutch opponents just couldn’t find the answer. Celebrate as Roma’s Portuguese coach toasts a new title to add to his dazzling collection.

When Mourinho arrived at Roma last summer it was with a fire in his stomach. Successive failures at Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur left many wondering if his time at the highest level of football management was over. Players like Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola had completely redefined the role of head coach and Mourinho was in danger of being left behind.

His decision to bring Tammy Abraham to the Stadio Olimpico raised eyebrows, but it has been a happy marriage, with the England striker scoring 17 goals in Serie A and nine in the Conference League. Coupled with the sensational form of club captain Lorenzo Pellegrini and the resurgence of Chris Smalling in defence, Roma have found a formula that has brought them success in Europe, if not Serie A, where they finished sixth.

Mourinho brings with him a winning mentality wherever he goes, and a requirement of 100% commitment and dedication from every player and staffer. Indeed, he has the same desire for silverware that all Roma fans have in their hearts, which is perhaps why he has become so quickly endeared to the club’s supporters.

The triumph of the Europa Conference League brought the club a moment of celebration and elation – a feeling that has been hard to come by in recent years. Now Mourinho must use this success as a springboard to better things next season. Their sixth place finish in Serie A means they qualify for the Europa League, and you can bet the Portuguese coach is aiming for his third title in that tournament.

They will do anything to disrupt the status quo as far as the top four are concerned. By the end of the campaign, there was rarely any doubt that AC Milan, Inter Milan, Napoli or Juventus would slip out of the Champions League positions – Mourinho’s quest is to break in and lead his team back to the top of European football .

On a personal level, the Conference League victory was much needed for Mourinho. At both Manchester United and Tottenham, he often made a lost and frustrated figure, with his temper rising at the slightest provocation. With another trophy on the bench, he can rest a bit and prepare for what promises to be an exciting campaign in the Italian capital next season. That age-old desire for glory has been satisfied for the time being.

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