CHAMPIONS LEAGUE and Europa League winner Jose Mourinho says the Europa Conference League has become his ‘Special One’.
And confessed he would be proud to become the first boss to lift Uefa’s much-maligned third trophy.
Jose Mourinho says Roma deserve silverware this season but admits Leicester will be tough to topple over two legs in the semi-finals
But he swept into Leicester desperate to create history by becoming the first man to win the Uefa competition which was written off as a consolation cup.
Mourinho, 59, insists Uefa’s third trophy is not beneath him and declared: “I see this as my competition now.
“I’m not in the Champions League or the Europa League.
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“I’m in this and I’m in it to win it. It’s MY competition!
“We need to fight to the bitter end because we have suffered for this competition and dropped points chasing it.”
Roma have not won a European trophy for 50 years — and that was the 1972 Anglo-Italian Cup.
Mourinho said: “Roma as a city, Roma as a club, my players, the people who work at the club, for the work we’ve done this season improving at every level — we deserve to be in the final.
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“Unfortunately, football sometimes doesn’t give you what you deserve.
“We have to beat a very good team with a very good coach and very good players. We have to be at a high level in two games to reach that dream of taking Roma to a final.”
Former Chelsea misfit Tammy Abraham will lead Roma’s attack and carries the biggest threat to Leicester’s hopes of reaching their first ever European final.
The 24-year-old Londoner has smashed in 24 goals in 46 Roma appearances since his £34million move from Chelsea — sparking rumours of a return to the Premier League with Arsenal this summer.
Abraham said: “I was born and raised in England so, of course, there’s many rumours about clubs being interested.
“I just have to stay focused on this competition and where we finish in the league and we’ll see what happens in the future.”
Abraham credits Mourinho with his stunning turnaround in fortunes. He said: “Jose is one of the best coaches ever to walk on the planet.
“He knows how to drive you. After Chelsea I needed someone who could push me. He always wants more.
“I’m learning more about myself every day — now I want to go all the way and win this trophy.”
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers studied under Mourinho at Chelsea in his formative years as a coach.
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And Rodgers said: “Jose has nothing to prove to anyone. He is a winner and will always be a winner.
“When I joined Chelsea in 2004, he had just joined in the summer, and Jose was the guy everyone wanted to be like.
“Everything back then was all about the players but Jose came to the UK as a European champion and everyone wanted to be like Jose Mourinho.
“He just had the X factor and I have nothing but admiration for him.”
By: Ian Tuckey
Title: ‘It’s MY competition’ – Jose Mourinho claims Conference League is his new ‘Special One’ as Roma prepare for Leicester
Sourced From: www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/18396356/jose-mourinho-roma-conference-league-leicester/
Published Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2022 21:30:00 +0000