Jose Mourinho has been appointed Roma head coach on a three-year deal set to begin at the start of next season. Mourinho was sacked by Tottenham in April after just 17 months in charge of the Premier League.
The announcement of his appointment by Roma came just hours after the club confirmed that current boss Paulo Fonseca would depart at the end of the current campaign.
It will be the Portuguese manager’s second spell in Serie A, after he spent two seasons with Inter Milan before leaving to join Real Madrid in 2010.
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) May 4, 2021
“After meetings with the ownership and Tiago Pinto, I immediately understood the full extent of their ambitions for AS Roma,” Mourinho told the club’s website.
“It is the same ambition and drive that has always motivated me and together we want to build a winning project over the upcoming years.
“The incredible passion of the Roma fans convinced me to accept the job and I cannot wait to start next season.”
Mourinho won consecutive Serie A titles with Inter, completing a treble – that included a Champions League triumph – in his final season with the club.
The 58-year-old struggled to make an impact at Spurs and was sacked for the third time in six seasons by a Premier League club, following dismissals from Chelsea – in his second spell at the club – and Manchester United.
Despite that, Roma were attracted to the 25 major trophies Mourinho has claimed in his career and have wasted little time in agreeing a deal following his departure from Tottenham.
Roma ‘blown away by Jose’s desire to win’
“When Jose became available, we immediately jumped at the chance to speak with one of the greatest managers of all time,” Roma general manager Tiago Pinto said.
“We were blown away by Jose’s desire to win and his passion for the game: no matter how many trophies he has won, his primary focus is always on the next one. He possesses the knowledge, experience and leadership to compete at all levels.
“We know that in order to build a successful sporting project it takes time, patience and the right people in the right positions. We are supremely confident that Jose will be the perfect coach for our project, for both our immediate and long-term future.”
Roma look set to miss out on Champions League qualification for next season as they sit seventh in Serie A with four games of the season, while their hopes of advancing to the Europa League final were all but ended in a 6-2 semi-final first-leg loss to Manchester United last week.
Serie A losses either side of that Old Trafford thrashing made it six games without a win in all competitions for Fonseca’s side.
Fonesca, who is also Portuguese, was on a two-year contract that was set to expire at the end of the season.
Pinto added: “I would like to thank Paulo for all his work for the club over the last two seasons.
“Even if the results have not always been there on the pitch, we know that he has left many positive elements that will continue to help our development – like the many talented and young players he has encouraged and improved, and our progress in the Europa League this season.
“We are building a path to success at Roma, and Paulo has played an important role in that.”
Carra: Mourinho finished in Premier League
Mourinho had hinted at a swift return, telling Sky Sports News when asked if he wanted a break from the game: “No need. I am always in football.”
But Jamie Carragher said he felt the “ship had sailed” on Mourinho’s Premier League management career and predicted a return to Italy.
“I don’t see Mourinho back in the Premier League, I think that ship’s sailed now,” he said on Monday Night Football.
“I struggle to think of any club – he’s been at Spurs, so he’s not going to Arsenal, he’s been at United so he’s not going to City, Liverpool wouldn’t have him.
“Would he go to a middle of the table club? I just don’t see him there, I really don’t. It’s either international football or maybe Italy.
“The Italian champions this year will be Inter Milan, with Antonio Conte, who plays his type of football – so maybe you can get away with it a little bit more in Italy, because it was certainly a turn-off for Spurs supporters.” Sky News