Actually, José Mourinho was ready for vacation. But while hundreds of thousands of AS Roma fans were celebrating the first European title coup in 61 years at home, his Conference League champions had one last surprise in store for him: They stormed the press conference room and showered the grinning Mourinho with beer.
There were also motorcades, horn concerts and fireworks, the Tifosi hugged each other at the Colosseum and all over the city. The dimensions of the XXL party until dawn on Thursday were reminiscent of the great successes of European champions Italy.
“Grazie Roma”, headlined the “Gazzetta dello Sport” on Thursday, the Roman newspaper “Corriere dell Sport” even thought the yellow-red were “in paradise”. “Tuttosport” paid homage to “Mou, the King of Rome”.
“I was 100 percent sure that the season would end with a special event – and that’s what happened,” said the 59-year-old Mourinho, who once again made several entries in football history with the triumph in Albania: first coach , who has won all three current European competitions; first coach to win an international title with four different clubs; and a European final record of 5-0.
To ask? Mourinho said: “We did our job. Today we made history.” Almost patronisingly, as sixth in Serie A, he was able to announce that the team wasn’t made for qualifying for the Champions League.
But that didn’t matter to the coach, professionals and above all supporters on this mild summer night. The fans celebrated not only in Rome, but also in Tirana, where tens of thousands got in the mood for the final premiere in the blistering heat during the day
“Roma is champion, that’s all that matters. It’s incredible. We won for the fans,” said defender Leonardo Spinazzola. Match-winning goalscorer Nicolo Zaniolo added: “It’s the dream come true of my young life. The trophy is for the fans.”
Mourinho had already shown wild emotions after the final whistle in Tirana’s stadium, which was tiny by the standards of the final. First he ran uncontrollably across the lawn and cried, later he kissed the trophy before it was officially handed over by the UEFA delegation. “Now I feel like a real Roman,” he said, and made it clear about his future: “I’m staying, there’s no doubt about it.”