José Mourinho. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/DEAN MOUHTAROPOULOS
José Mourinho. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/DEAN MOUHTAROPOULOS

Bengaluru — AS Roma have appointed former Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho as their new head coach on a three-year contract starting in the 2021/2022 season, the Italian Serie A club announced on Tuesday.         

Mourinho will replace Paulo Fonseca, who Roma announced earlier on Tuesday would leave the club at the end of the current campaign.

The Portuguese was sacked by Spurs on April 19 after a poor second half of the season in which they slipped from top of the Premier League to outside the European places.

In his two weeks away from the world of management, Mourinho signed up with British radio broadcaster talkSPORT and The Times newspaper to be part of their team of analysts for this year’s European Championship.

But when the new season begins in August, Mourinho’s focus will be solely on guiding Roma to Champions League places on a regular basis.

“After meetings with the ownership and Tiago Pinto, I immediately understood the full extent of their ambitions for AS Roma,” Mourinho said.

“It is the same ambition and drive that has always motivated me and together we want to build a winning project over the upcoming years. The incredible passion of the Roma fans convinced me to accept the job and I cannot wait to start next season.”

The former Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester United boss arrives at the Italian capital as one of only five managers to lift the Champions League with two different clubs — Porto and Inter.

Mourinho also completed a historic treble with Inter in 2009/2010 but in a recent interview with The Times said he would not hesitate joining any one of their rivals in the future.

“There is a special affection. But if one day I have to go to Italy and coach a rival club, I don’t think twice,” he said. “I have this professional way of looking at things.”

Fonseca’s Roma looked to be on course for a top-four finish that would secure Champions League football for next season at the turn of the year, but one win in their past eight league matches has left them seventh in the standings. Roma’s hierarchy is hoping Mourinho can bring his winning mentality to boost the club’s ambitious project.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jose Mourinho into the AS Roma family,” club president Dan Friedkin and vice-president Ryan Friedkin said. “A great champion who has won trophies at every level, Jose will provide tremendous leadership and experience to our ambitious project.” 

Reuters

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