Emotional Mourinho 'shed a tear' as Roma reach Europa Conference League final

Tammy Abraham's first-half header seals 1-0 win and a championship match against Feyenoord on May 25

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An emotional Jose Mourinho likened Roma booking a place in this month's Europa League Conference final as "our Champions League".

A first-half header from Tammy Abraham gave Roma a 1-0 win over Leicester City at Stadio Olimpico and a 2-1 victory on aggregate to send them through to the inaugural Europa Conference League final on May 25, where they will face Feyenoord.

"This is a giant club without the trophy room in relation to the social dimension of the club. So, this is not a trophy, it's only the final but it means a lot for them," said Mourinho.

"Of course I have had bigger moments than this, but I am not feeling for myself, I am feeling for the people and my players. This for us, is our Champions League."

Mourinho, who took over at Roma in May last year, was in tears as he embraced his coaching staff after the win.

"I shed a tear because my emotion was for everyone who loves this club," said Mourinho, who has now reached five European finals with four clubs, having won all his previous ones with Porto, Inter Milan and Manchester United.

"I've had the fortune to play more prestigious finals than this one. But in terms of the way we've created a family atmosphere here, it makes me feel special."

Roma vs Leicester ratings

Leicester counterpart Brendan Rodgers urged his players to harness their pain to build again.

He said: “It’s a young team and learning all the time, this is a level a lot of them have never been to. It’s only natural but the guys will learn and it’s another experience. It’s a tough one when you lose but it’s important to learn from it.

“It’s been a great journey for us. The players will learn and gain a lot of experience from it. Nights like tonight will stay with them and give them that motivation going forward.

“The players will feel the experiences of the last couple of years. We can regroup in the summer, feelings of tonight will provide a great motivation and when you have more coaching time it gives you a chance to push on.”

Feyenoord secured a first European final in two decades after holding Marseille to a 0-0 draw in France to advance 3-2 on aggregate.

The Dutch club made good their victory in the first leg last week in Rotterdam to set up a final clash with Roma on May 25 in the Albanian capital Tirana, 250 kilometres away from where Feyenoord began their campaign against Drita of Kosovo in the qualifying rounds last July.

"When you see where we have come from, how the season began, the way the team has progressed, it's magnificent," said Feyenoord midfielder Orkun Kokcu.

"We will make history if we win."

Updated: May 06, 2022, 5:59 AM
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