Tonight, Portuguese star coach Jose Mourinho and his club Roma will meet Feyenoord Rotterdam in the Conference League final. It is doubtful whether the record that a previous European champion and title-winner can achieve will interest Mourinho. Man aspires to higher things.
It’s unlikely Jose Mourinho would really care – or at least wouldn’t admit it – but the Roma boss could make history in Tirana against Feyenoord Rotterdam on Wednesday night. He could raise a record that was not held even by his opponent Pep Guardiola or the big winner of the season Jurgen Klopp. The Portuguese could become the first coach to win the Champions League, European League and Conference League.
But for the man who says of himself – “When you reach my level it is difficult to learn from others, you have to learn from yourself” – perhaps this is a sign of below his level. And a side note that shouldn’t be neglected: it’s also the first final (9pm / live on RTL, on RTL+ and on ntv.de live tape) from the Conference League, which was presented for the first time.
In recent years things have become quieter for the man who once started under Bobby Robson at Sporting Lisbon as a translator and assistant coach for the English coach. The longtime “Three Lions” national team coach once said looking back at this time with Mourinho: “He spoke fluent English. He looked very good. He was very good for my feeling.” And Jose Mourinho probably knew it early on, because he once said, “God certainly thinks I’m a great man, and that’s why he has given me so much.”
Mourinho knows how business goes
There is no doubt that the Portuguese is one of the most trusted personalities in world football. And he is someone who either has really poor control over his mouth and his emotions or uses both very consciously – with all the consequences of his actions.
Jose Mourinho is afraid of his harsh words and statements. Only recently he shocked the journalist again, saying that he was going to toss his pants in front of him. Media people were always at the top of his list of targets anyway. “Maybe you wanted to become a coach, but then it is enough to become a journalist,” the Portuguese once said to a television reporter. Deliberate provocation from a man who knows how the business works.
When he joined Inter Milan, he immediately declared: “I think it will be very interesting for journalists.” This is what happened. As in almost all places where the current, controversial Roma coach has worked in the past 30 years or so.
“He plays because I don’t have anyone else.”
The eloquent and somewhat erroneous comparisons Mourinho uses to explain professional football are legendary. Once asked how important good players are to his success, he replied, “It’s about omelettes and eggs. No eggs, no omelets. It all depends on the quality of the eggs. In the supermarket there are A, B or C eggs and some are more expensive than others and you make omelets. Better, so if you have top-notch eggs in the supermarket and you can’t go there, you’re going to have a problem.”
NITRO: Presenter Laura Papendick and expert Karl-Heinz Riedle report at 8:15 pm from the Albanian capital of Tirana with preliminary analyzes and assessments from the sidelines of Air Albania Stadium. Commentators from 9pm are Marco Hagman and Stephen Freund.
RTL+: From 8pm, Anna Kraft, Robbie Honk, Arnd Ziegler and Ansgar Brinkmann will report. The talk tour welcomes Thomas Kessler, Head of Licensed Players Division at 1. FC Köln, as a guest and gives an insight into the season and team planning for the club, which is seventh in the table in the upcoming European qualifiers. Conference League season. Commentator is Cornelius Cooper.
Now you would think he would be particularly interested in supposed ‘Class A’ players, but that was never Mourinho’s way. About one of the absolute stars of the season, Karim Benzema, the Portuguese said at Real Madrid at the time: “He plays because I don’t have another. If you don’t have a dog to hunt with, you have to take a cat.” “You won’t play the next match even if Real Madrid’s plane crashes and I’m the only one on our land,” he told Pedro Leon. These are difficult things, of course – but that is exactly what Jose Mourinho does.
For him: “I don’t want a player to be a perfect man with a great personality. This is the man I want for my daughter as a man.” And that is exactly why Mourinho loves players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic. When both were working at Inter Milan in 2009, the Portuguese even once oddly refused to allow the Sweden international to be substituted. Zlatan was furious that day because his teammates didn’t put good balls on him – and wanted out.
Mourinho says Jesus wasn’t liked by everyone either
But Mourinho pretended not to understand him. He said to Ibra: What is this? Would you like something to drink? Would you like some water? Here please take a sip and then go. Indeed: the Swedish star scored an impressive goal shortly thereafter. But even then, Mourinho has shown no mercy. On the contrary: he even pushed the match with Ibrahimovic to the extreme. Because as the last player he did not change the Swedes but the goalkeeper.
Ben Riddellings is a passionate “football mad historian” and supporter of the glorified VfL Bochum. The bestselling author and comedian lives in the Ruhr region and keeps the Legendary Tales Treasure Chest. For ntv.de he writes the most interesting and funniest stories on Mondays and Saturdays. More information about Ben Redelings, his current dates and his book with the best columns (“Between Puff and Barcelona”) is available on his website at www.scudetto.de.
“Mo is a terrible man,” Ibrahimovic said recently – and he meant it affectionately. The relationship between these two exceptional people is strong. When Zlatan met Pep Guardiola after his first match with Mourinho at Barcelona, he quickly declared: “We don’t need a philosopher. Me and a dwarf are enough.”
The philosopher meant his coach and his dwarf, of course, meant his teammate, Lionel Messi. When Guardiola practically neutralized him after this attack, Zlatan went on with the words: “You don’t have balls and you’re flapping your pants in front of Mourinho. Compared to him you are nothing – damn you!” One can hardly express one’s liking for one and dislike the other more clearly in one sentence.
Tonight Mourinho could imitate his star, who just won the Scudetto with Milan – and finish the season with the title. However, it will be interesting to see what the Portuguese have to say after the final. Because the “lunar man” who “God gave him so much” will definitely be the focus of the media after the final. After all, he doesn’t care that some people don’t find it sexy because of his sayings: “Not even Jesus was loved by all.”