Mourinho: My critics were happy when AS Roma didn’t win trophies, I can’t say if I’ll remain beyond 2024

AS Roma coach Jose Mourinho has suggested that those who criticise him are happy to see the Giallorossi fail, whilst he was unable to say if he would be at the club next season.

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AS Roma coach Jose Mourinho has suggested that there is a faction against him in the Italian capital who want to see him fail, but is happy to retain the support of fans despite being unable to commit his future to the club.

The Portuguese tactician took the helm at Roma in 2021 to much fanfare and led them to the inaugural Europa Conference League title in his maiden season, before reaching the Europa League final last year.

Despite this, Mourinho has been unable to return Roma to the Champions League amidst consecutive sixth-place finishes in Serie A, whilst their current campaign has got off to a poor domestic start as they languish in 10th.

Mourinho at the centre of attention

In an interview with Sky Sport Italia, and as reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport, Mourinho hit out at those in Rome and beyond who have criticised his work since arriving at the Stadio Olimpico, but was confident that he retained the backing of the majority of fans.

“Does ‘Mourinhoism’ exist? Certainly, but there is also anti-Mourinhoism. Especially in Rome, there are both factions,” the former Inter and Chelsea coach declared.

Jose Mourinho and AS Roma’s Curva Sud. [@OfficialASRoma]

“Mourinhoism is enjoyed by people who know what I have achieved. The anti-Mourinhoism is for people who were happy the whole time that Roma didn’t win a trophy, didn’t have any kind of European success. They have fun on the radio and that’s fine. Anti-Mourinhoism sells, Mourinhoism is a way of being. I say this because I find people on the street, everywhere, who identify with me and my way of being in life.”

Mourinho‘s strong connection with the Giallorossi supporters certainly appears to have worked both ways, with the tactician feeling the strong emotions of the fans at the Stadio Olimpico.

Indeed, the former Real Madrid coach insisted that he felt like one of the fans in the stadium after his passionate journey with the club.

“I like Romanism. I like the pure Romanista, I like the Romanista of the street, who go to Trigoria in the morning just to get a photo. I like people who follow the team everywhere,” Mourinho explained.

“When you get to two European finals and take the city with you, when you cry with joy with them, you become even more one of them. That’s what I feel now, it was natural. When I’m on the bench and I look at the Curva Sud, it gives me the shivers, it’s people who stay with me, even when I will leave one day.”

Jose Mourinho celebrates after AS Roma’s Europa Conference League win. (REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo)

Mourinho’s final season at AS Roma?

Mourinho‘s contract at Roma is due to expire at the end of the season and the 60-year-old was unable to confirm if he would commit to the Giallorossi beyond June 2024.

“I don’t know if I can stay longer (than his current contract). Before the Europa League final in Budapest I promised the players that I would stay. After Spezia on the final day, at the Stadio Olimpico, I told the fans with gestures that I would stay and now I am here,” he said.

Upon his arrival, Roma President Dan Friedkin gifted Mourinho an iconic Vespa, and it was immortalised in graffiti in the city. The bike is now displayed in Roma‘s Trigoria training centre, but Mourinho insisted he was keen to add trophies as well as the Vespa to the cabinet.

“It’s always there in Trigoria, the owners gave it to me when I arrived. Unfortunately, there aren’t many cups and there’s the Vespa. Now I’m leaving it there, when I leave one day I’ll take it with me,” Mourinho concluded.

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