Jose Mourinho’s Trophy Triumphs from UEFA Cup to Conference League

It was exactly twenty years recently. On Wednesday, May 21, 2003, José Mourinho stroked his first major trophy. He added UEFA Cup gold to his first Portuguese title with Porto. Do you remember the crazy shootout 3:2 with Celtic? “I don’t remember the last time I suffered so much,” the Portuguese Prime Minister at the time, José Manuel Barroso, was relieved. And Porto boss Jorge Nuňo Pinto ended up in the hands of doctors due to an unpleasant chest pain.

“The most exhausting match in my career so far. It was wonderful to know that the cup was ours,” Mourinho smiled. The disciple of the greats Bobby Robson and Louis van Gaal was forty at the time and had a fairytale journey ahead of him.

He also won the Champions League with Porto, which he repeated at Inter Milan. 2017: Europa League trophy with Manchester United. And 2022: with AS Roma, he dominated the new Conference League, and it was also the Giallorossi’s first international trophy.

“But history hasn’t won anything for anyone yet,” Mourinho told UEFA’s website twenty years after his first cup triumph. His face is wrinkled and he may be a little calmer with age, but his desire to win remains: “When you look at my white hair , you might feel like I’m really old now. But I’m definitely not old enough to not want to add more trophies. I’m not done yet.”

When he started in Rome after a lackluster stay in Tottenham the year before, he was impressed by the quotes of the legendary emperor Marcus Aurelius. He ended the first season with the aforementioned victory in the Conference League, and a win in the cup would be useful even now, it would mean a ticket to the Champions League. “Who would have thought at the beginning of the season that we would reach the final? A lot of great teams dropped out early, like Barcelona and Arsenal,” explained Mourinho. By the way, there is talk that he could go to PSG in Paris in the summer, for example.

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“Mourinho is always the main character and collects trophies, whereas I didn’t win that much,” Sevilla coach José Luis Mendilibar, 62, bowed before the game of his life. The former provincial midfielder replaced Jorge Sampaoli in March when Sevilla were struggling just two points from the relegation zone, she is now saved and looking forward to the final of her favorite cup.

“I’m very happy for José, I’ve known him for a very long time as an opponent from the Spanish league. He is doing fantastic in Sevilla, he finally got the chance to go to a big club. I’m looking forward to being able to hug him before the game,” Mourinho said.

Ironically, he won his first cup trophy in Seville, but that doesn’t impress him. Not even the unique record of the Andalusian opponent: six UEFA Cup and Europa League finals won out of six. “This will be a new final and a new history. I’m not even thinking about becoming the first coach to win the Europa League with three teams,” Mourinho noted. “You know what I’m only interested in? The happiness we can give the fans with our victory.”

2023-05-30 16:41:07
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