Jose Mourinho could not hold back the tears as he guided AS Roma to the inaugural Europa Conference League final.
The 'Special One' has forged his reputation through league titles and Champions League successes over the last two decades with FC Porto and Inter Milan. However, that did not stop Mourinho succumbing to emotion as a semi-final victory against Leicester City saw Roma book their first European final for 31 years.
The Portuguese boss' latest success saw him become the first manager to lead four different clubs to European finals, and his first since Manchester United's Europa League win in 2017. Tammy Abraham's header secured a tense 2-1 aggregate victory over the Foxes, and the full-time whistle saw Mourinho succumb to tears as he was mobbed by jubilant staff.
Speaking after the match, Mourinho said: "Why did I shed a tear? Because I feel what [the fans] all feel. It’s a giant club without a trophy room for the social importance of this club. I know what it means to these people and my emotion was for them. I’ve been lucky enough to be in more prestigious finals but this made me feel very special.
"We have a sense of family. With age you become less selfish and more of a father or even a grandfather to some of them, I’m very happy for all of them. Rome is a red and yellow city, we’ll see the joy over the coming days. I’ve made a small contribution to that."
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The former Chelsea, Manchester United, and Tottenham boss could finish his debut season in the Italian capital with silverware, while Roma are currently level on points with city rivals Lazio in Serie A with three matches to go. Gianluca Mancini's own goal prevented Mourinho's side securing a win in the first leg at the King Power Stadium, but the 59-year-old was full of praise for his team's performance over both legs.
He added: "I think our performance was extraordinary. Others might see it differently, but when your goalkeeper makes two saves over 120 minutes against a Premier League side with so much attacking quality, it means we've done something good."
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