Will Jose Mourinho Stay At Roma After Europa League Final Defeat?
Budapest, Hungary(Forbs) – The Europa League final between Roma and Sevilla wasn’t one for the footballing purist. In fairness, it was never expected to be. Most knew going into the occasion this wasn’t going to be a European final replayed over and over again. This wasn’t going to be Istanbul 2005 or Barcelona 1999; it was going to be a long, drawn-out and most probably tedious affair.
By the end, it was worse than Marseille against Red Star in Bari 32 years ago. This was 146 minutes of non-football. By the end, Paulo Dybala’s 34th minute goal felt like it had been scored days ago, or when he was still playing for Juventus.
The ball was in play just 45% of the time in Sevilla vs Roma last night.
Considering how long the game was, that means that the ball was out of play for over 80 minutes of the match 😳 pic.twitter.com/w4Vr2QPoSj
— Opta Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) June 1, 2023
The ends would’ve justified the means, as it always does with Mourinho, had Roma won. It can be hard to remember now, through the haze of tactical fouls and diving, but Roma had the better chances; Tammy Abraham and Andrea Belotti simply had to score, and their spurned chances perhaps reflect a lack of self-confidence in both. Belotti, mostly used as a sub this season, has scored no goals in Serie A, while Abraham hasn’t come close to matching his first season in Italy, with the English striker perhaps being the collateral damage in Dybala’s move to Rome.
As Roma’s last two months of the season was built on winning the Europa League, and therefore gaining entry into the Champions League, not winning the trophy makes the campaign feel a failure. Mourinho had bet it all on winning this competition for a third time, and had essentially discarded the league by early April. They went all-in, and Roma fell at the last hurdle.
What does the future hold for Mourinho? Links with Paris Saint-Germain have bubbled in the background for most of the season, but Mourinho has always stated he hasn’t held talks with anyone.
Mourinho would no doubt like one final crack at the big time with a team containing financial muscle. In this respect, a move to the French capital easily outweighs staying in Rome, but it’s doubtful that fans in Paris would shower him with anything close to the love he’s received in the Italian capital.
Romanisti have put up with the at-times dire brand of football on offer – and selling out the Stadio Olimpico countless times in the process – because Mourinho instilled a mentality that’d been missing since the days of Fabio Capello. They embraced him, and he in turn did the same.
Mourinho has brought Roma to as many European finals in his two seasons than the club had in their entire history, but it’s not difficult to sense he’s frustrated with the lack of funds available. Over €100m ($107m) was spent in his first summer but, as he so often likes to point out, only €7m ($8m) was shelled out last summer on right-back Zeki Celik.
Roma’s debt, according to the ever reliable financial expert Swiss Ramble, is around the €380m ($406m) mark, the second largest in Italy behind Inter. The Friedkin Group have sank an estimated €500m ($535m) since buying the club in 2020, and it’s likely this summer’s transfer budget would’ve been contingent on qualifying for the Champions League. Roma’s run to the final of the Europa League earned them close to €20m ($21m) (this would’ve been higher had it not been for FFP sanctions), yet as most know, Roma could’ve earned more by just playing six Champions League games next season and losing them all than by winning UEFA’sEFA +1.4% secondary competition.
“My players deserve more, and I deserve more too and I want to fight for more,” he said in his post-final press conference. “I still want to stay under conditions that can allow me to give more.” There are limitations in this Roma side, and the ‘conditions’ Mourinho speaks of are no doubt substantial investment in the summer market.
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