An emotional Jose Mourinho spoke of his burning desire to bring silverware to Roma after reaching the Europa Conference League final, declaring: “This is our Champions League.”
The Italians will contest the competition’s first ever final later this month after beating Leicester City 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico to secure a 2-1 aggregate success in the semis.
Afterwards, the manager reflected on the importance of a victory that sets up Roma to win a first European title since lifting the 1961 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.
And he insisted that winning the Europa Conference League would feel just as significant as claiming one of European football’s more glamorous prizes.
He told BT Sport: “When you work in Rome, you live in Rome, you breathe Rome and you breathe this club because this club is the real club of the city.
“I felt from day one that it’s a huge club, as you could see, but no victories and not many finals. The history is not related with the social dimension of the club.
“We managed to build an okay team that grew up step by step and we could beat a Premier League team that comes from a different dimension.
“So I’m very, very emotional. Of course I had bigger moments than this but I’m not feeling for myself, I’m feeling for the people and my players.
“This for us is our Champions League.”
Meanwhile, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers was left to lament the defensive fragility his side showed around the corner that led to Tammy Abraham’s 11th-minute winner.
He said: “The corner, it’s been our Achilles’ heel all season. We’ve tried every structure in the box to defend, man-marking, zonal.
“Clearly, we lack physicality in the team to deal with certain situations consistently and it’s obviously cost us tonight.”
And the former Liverpool boss hinted that changes could be afoot as the Foxes look to bounce back next term.
He added: “We have to finish the season strongly now and look to progress in the summer to challenge again next season.”
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