AS Roma coach Jose Mourinho, Reuters
Reuters – AS Roma manager Jose Mourinho broke down in tears after guiding his side to the Europa Conference League final on Thursday and said Europe’s third-tier competition resembled their Champions League.
A first-half header from Tammy Abraham gave Roma a 1-0 victory over Leicester City on the night and a 2-1 win on aggregate to send them to the inaugural Europa Conference League final on May 25, where they will face Feyenoord.
“It’s a giant club without the trophy room compared to the social dimension of the club. So it’s not a trophy, it’s only the final but it means a lot to them,” Mourinho said.
“Of course, I’ve had more important moments than this, but I don’t feel for myself, I feel for people and my players. For us, this is our Champions League.”
Mourinho, who took charge of Roma in May last year, was in tears as he embraced his coaching staff after the win.
“I shed a tear because my emotion was for everyone who loves this club,” said Mourinho, who has now reached five European finals with four different clubs, having won all his previous ones with Porto, Inter Milan and Manchester United.
“I’ve been lucky enough to play more prestigious finals than this. But in terms of how we’ve created a family atmosphere here, that makes me feel special.”
Roma, fifth in Serie A, travel to Fiorentina on Monday.