Exclusive: ex-Roma boss Sven-Goran Eriksson: “I was surprised that Mourinho accepted Roma.”

Former Roma and Lazio manager Sven-Goran Eriksson was surprised to learn that José Mourinho decided to take over the reigns at the Giallorossi.

Speaking to The Italian Football Podcast, Eriksson admitted that he thinks the former Inter and Chelsea manager will do well at Roma, tipping them or crosstown rivals Lazio to finish 4th in the Serie A this season.

“I was surprised that Mourinho took Roma. Normally he takes clubs that can for sure win titles, I’m not sure Roma are good enough to win the Scudetto, I could be wrong.”

“I think AC Milan will win, Inter will finish second then Juventus third and one of the Rome clubs will finish fourth.”

Eriksson argued that he believed that the Roma players will like working under the Portuguese tactician and that he is the right person to lead the Giallorossi over the next 1-2 seasons.

“I think Mourinho will do well his first and second year as usual, then we will see what happens. That’s the story normally with Mourinho.”

“I’m quite sure that the players will like him, especially the first years. It’s been like that everywhere he has been.”

“If someone can do something very positive during these first years at Roma, it is Mourinho. But I’m not sure that Roma or Lazio can compete with AC Milan and Inter for the Scudetto.”

In conclusion, Eriksson spoke of his time in charge of the Giallorossi, saying he believed his time at the club was a learning experience for him, revealing that he left Roma was due to disagreements with Polish superstar Zbigniew Boniek.

“It was a great learning experience. I came at the wrong time to Roma. They had great success with Liedholm having won the Serie A and reached the final of the Champions League the year before I came,” he explained.

“The players were old, a little bit spoiled and I thought they lacked a bit of hunger. Players like Bruno Conti, Roberto Pruzzo, Graziani, Boniek. It was hard to make them a fighting team.”

“Liedholm did great with them, and I suffered the first year but then things went well in the second year.”

“I had a long career and most of the players, especially the big players, were great at following my orders. Take Falcao, take Roberto Mancini. But I had some players, one of them was Zibi Boniek.”

“We didn’t get on professionally. We had different opinions about the game and the team. And he was the main reason why I left Roma [in 1987].”

“We didn’t leave on good terms. We fought. Sometimes this happens.”

Concluding, “But of course Roma’s supporters were absolutely incredible.”