Mourinho’s Roma have a chance to become the first club to win the Europa League Conference. For that it will be necessary to get rid of Feyenoord in the final this Wednesday.
Europa finals specialist José Mourinho has the opportunity to offer AS Roma their first continental trophy against Feyenoord Rotterdam at the conclusion of the new Europa League conference on Wednesday (21:00) in Tirana.
“The big teams have to take it seriously” the latest addition to European competitions, claims the Portuguese coach, who has a fifth continental title after his two Champions Leagues (2004 with FC Porto, 2010 with Inter Milan) and his two Europa Leagues (2003 with FC Porto, 2017 with Manchester). would not shy away from United).
“When the competition started there was some criticism. People saw play-offs without German, English or Spanish teams… But we saw semi-finals with 70,000 people in Rome, full stadiums in Marseille or Leicester, this competition becomes important because teams like us take it seriously.he assures.
In that C4, Roma certainly had a big air pocket in Norway, being crushed by Bodo/Glimt 6-1 in the group stage but clearly making it a goal since spring.
Tifosi, players and coaches alike understood the common interest in crowning Mourinho’s first season in Rome with a title, far from the top 4 in Serie A and eventually 6th place (qualifying for the next Europa League).
Roma can win their first European Cup there after losing two finals (1984 C1, 1991 C3), if we discount their success in 1961 in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, the unofficial ancestor of the Europa League.
Mourinho is recovering his image as a winner after his mixed experience at Tottenham, having never lost a European final (lost three times apart from the UEFA Super Cups).
“Of course I would like to win for myself, but especially for the fans, who haven’t had a moment like this in a long time, and for the players to take a first step in their careers. I’m less self-centered, more of a club person.”“, assures “Mou”.
Italy, who owe the Portuguese their last European club title (2010 with Inter), are counting on him again to end a dark season on a positive note, without a club progressing to the quarter-finals of the Champions League or qualifying for the World Cup 2022.
If Roma have spared no effort to afford this 14-game final since the summer, what about Feyenoord, who will play their 19th European game since July’s preliminary round on Wednesday?
The Dutch held off Olympique de Marseille in the semi-final second leg (0-0, after winning 3-2 in the first leg) to seek a fourth European title, then in C1 (1970) and both C3 (1974 and 2002). ).
In addition to their solid organization and constant pressing, they have the competition’s top scorer, Cyriel Dessers (10 goals).
“We are not afraid of Roma”assures the Belgian-Nigerian on UEFA’s website, who has become a fan favorite in Feyenoord, a working-class and multicultural district of Rotterdam.
“My bond with the fans, I will never forget that”, adds the one who could leave this summer, currently on loan from Belgian club Genk. Although an online collection has been launched in the Netherlands to try to exercise the purchase option for 4 million euros: “Let’s wait and see if they succeed”‘ the striker smiled.
Between these two clubs, known for their fiery fans, the atmosphere promises to be good, even if the rather small capacity of the National Arena stadium in Tirana (21,000 seats) may have left the Tifosi with regret.
“Even Santiago-Bernabeu would have been full, but Albania deserved this chance too”Mourinho, a skilled technician, called on local fans to give their voice to Roma, where Albanian international Marash Kumbulla plays: “It would be nice if he lifted the trophy in Tirana…”
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