Just one week after he led the club to their first trophy in 14 years—Roma manager José Mourinho analysed his first full season in the Italian capital with the club.
Speaking to Portuguese newspaper Record, the Special One touched on a variety of topics including his team’s Conference League title, working with Roma executive Tiago Pinto, and more.
“When it comes to our season, it depends who’s doing the analysis. According to some of the Einstein’s in Portuguese sports journalism, we had didn’t have a good year,” he began.
“However, as someone who’s incredibly demanding of themself, I’d say it was a fantastic season because we didn’t have the ability to do any more. I had guys who played 50 matches and that’s not even referring to Rui Patricio who played 54.”
“There’s no doubt about this. Just look at the situation: I didn’t have a top player available (Spinazzola) for ten months plus there were strong opponents in Inter, Milan, Juve, and don’t forget Napoli, Atalanta, and Lazio.”
“In addition, we played 14 matches on Thursday that were followed by a game on Sunday. But there’s also things you can’t see from the outside—there’s so much being done internally to grow the club.”
He added, “Therefore I’m obliged to say it: Tiago Pinto’s been sensational. He and I collaborate on a daily basis. He’s a fantastic director and I can also say a great friend.”
“The last thing I’ll say about him is that I’ve now got a better understanding as to why Benfica didn’t win this season.”
The former United manager guided the Giallorossi to their first European trophy defeating Feyenoord 1-0 in the Conference League final—simultaneously ending their fourteen-year trophy drought.
“The Conference League victory is obviously a special milestone, but I hold all my European successes on the same level regardless of the competition.”
“Nobody expected Porto and Inter to win and Europe, even less so with Roma.”
The 59 year-old was also asked to assess what his team needs to make the jump next season in order to challenge for additional silverware.
“We’re aware that the big gap that exists on nearly all levels between us and the top teams can only be bridged with one thing: work, work, and work. That’s how we’ll reduce the deficit, there’s no other way.”