On the eve of the Europa League semi-final second leg against Bayer Leverkusen, Mourinho insisted that Roma had won the tournament. The reason is because Roma is the team that started from the beginning, unlike the teams that were pushed down from the Champions League.
“If I had no ambition to win the competition, it would be too easy for me to say we would have won the Europa League already. Because if the Europa League is only for the teams that start this tournament, then Roma won.
However, that is only in theory. Our goal is to win. I want to make it clear that I have great respect for Bayer Leverkusen. But there’s greater value to a team built to play in the Europa League and have 14 games in it than a team that has the investment to play in the Champions League group stage.”
Mourinho is set to take Roma to his second consecutive European final and his sixth. Roma is considered a bright candidate for the Europa League title this season.
“The past is the past, we don’t know the future, so this is the present and what matters most. In Porto, I had two European finals in consecutive years. I really want to be in the final now, not for me, because I have become a different person, thinking more of the people around me instead of myself. I want to be in the final for the players and the fans.”