Jose Mourinho said that he and Roma had made history after winning the Europa Conference League, the club’s first ever major European trophy.
Just as he did after an emotional semi-final win, Portuguese coaching icon Mourinho tried and failed to hold back the tears after Roma beat Feyenoord in their first continental final in over three decades and he was still emotional by the time he hailed his team after the trophy ceremony.
Roma fans have taken Mourinho into their hearts during an up and down season which culminated in Wednesday’s 1-0 win in Tirana which ended a 14-year trophy drought for the capital club.
“I’ve been at Roma for 11 months, I knew the moment I arrived what it meant to the people. They had been waiting for something like this,” Mourinho told Sky.
“This was not work tonight, this was history. We had to write history. We wrote it.” Wednesday’s triumph was his fifth European title and made him the first coach to win all current UEFA competitions.
And he confirmed that he would be staying at Roma next season to build on the solid work done in his debut season.
“I am staying, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.
“We need to see what our owners, who are fantastic people, want to do next season because this is history, but we can build a special project.
“Now I’m going to go on holiday, sit on the beach and think about it all for a while.”
Italy international Nicolo Zaniolo struck with a well-taken finish in the 32nd minute to earn Roma their first trophy of any kind since 2008 and cap a successful first season for coach Mourinho in Rome.
Mourinho was moved to tears by his fifth continental cup as a coach, the first for an Italian team since he led Inter Milan to the Champions League 12 years ago.
“It was a real struggle but I’m really happy,” Zaniolo said to Sky. “It was my dream and now I’ve done it.”
Roma, Fairs Cup winners in 1961, rode their luck with Feyenoord having the lion’s share of the play and twice striking the woodwork in the second half.
But they remained solid in the face of Dutch dominance and brought joy to one of Europe’s most passionate and success-starved fan bases.