Roma hope to capture their first European trophy when they face-off against Feyenoord on Wednesday evening in the first edition of the Conference League final.
It’s the Giallorossi’s first European finals appearance in thirty years–their last visit occuring in 1992 when they lost to Inter in the UEFA Cup.
Meanwhile, the Dutch side are seeking to become the first club to win all three UEFA competitions after having previously won the Champions League in 1970 and the UEFA Cup/Europa League in 1974 and 2002.
It also marks the fifth European final of José Mourinho’s managerial career. The Special One’s enters the fixture with a perfect 100 per cent record in European finals, previously winning the 2003 UEFA Cup (Europa League) and 2004 Champions League with Port, the 2010 Champions League with Inter, and the 2017 Europa League with Manchester United.
Both sides enter the clash at nearly full strength and no surprises are expected from either manager in their team selection.
“This final is all about history. It’s history that we’ve already written, by getting to this point, into a final after so many years,” Mourinho told the media during his pre-match press conference.
“But, obviously, whenever you reach a final you have to give everything you can to write true history. And that means to win.”
“Until kick-off, there is nothing else in my mind. It’s just about the final. That’s the only way I know how to be. Experience doesn’t help me with that. I thought it might do, but it hasn’t been like that.”
“I still experience it all the same way as my first final; 20 years has not changed anything. If you think I am a bit more serious, maybe it’s just focus–maybe it’s just my way of preparing for the game. That’s all I’m thinking about.”
As for their opposition, Feyenoord manager Arne Slot is confident his side are well prepared for the final.
“We know what to expect (from Roma), but you never know, sometimes their coach has a little twitch in his game plan,” he asserted.
“But we’ve seen a lot, so we hope we’re prepared in the right way, and if he does surprise us we’ve played 55 games so I’d be a bit surprised if he could think of something that we haven’t faced yet.”
Kick-off is scheduled for 21.00 CET at the Arena Kombëtare in Tirana, Albania.
(3-4-1-2): Rui Patricio; Mancini, Smalling, Ibañez; Karsdorp, Cristante, Mkhitaryan, Zalewski; Pellegrini; Zaniolo, Abraham
Bench: Fuzato, Viña, Spinazzola, Maitland-Niles, Kumbulla, Oliveira, Veretout, Diawara, Pérez, El Sharaawy, Shomurodov
(4-3-3): Marciano; Geertruida, Trauner, Senesi, Malacia; Toornstra, Aursnes, Kocku; Nelson, Dessers, Sinisterra
Bench: Cojocaru, Jansen, Hendriks , Pedersen, Sandler, Til, Hall, Jahanbakhsh, Linssen, Wålemark