Jose Mourinho went to congratulate Jose Luis Mendilibar before Montiel scored the Europa League penalty that gave Sevilla the Europa League in Budapest. The Sevilla coach did not know where to look, although perhaps nothing that happened at the Puskas Arena could surprise him. The Portuguese coach broke his routine by losing his first European final, but he did deliver on everything that was expected of his character.

Beyond the protests, continuous throughout the night, even hilarious, Mourinho left the grotesque for the end. He went around the field applauding, approached the back where the Sevilla fans celebrated the title, hugged Mendilibar, and, without the trophy being still on the lectern, without anyone having called him to the scene, without his players knowing what he was going to do, he went on to collect the medal. Of course, before getting into the locker room he threw it to a boy who was behind the bench.

"I always do. I'll keep the gold ones, I don't want the silver ones," the Roma coach excused himself, in his own way.

Jose Mourinho's impeccable history in Europe's major competitions is finally over. The Portuguese, who seemed calmer since combing gray hair, wanted to continue showing that his time on the bench had not yet passed. Nor that of Roma, which since 2008 did not approach a title and last season conquered the Europa League.

And that the Portuguese has fit into the Giallorrossa stands better than expected. If the club had not lifted a trophy for 14 years, he had not added any to his record for four years. Tottenham sacked him weeks before playing the 2021 League Cup final and it seemed that Mou no longer had benches left in the elite or teams capable of paying his cache. But as two Champions League, two Europa League, three Premier League, two Scudettos and one League are arguments of great weight, he only spent a few days in unemployment because the new American owner of Roma launched the challenge of rebuilding it.

Dan Friedkin, owner of Toyota dealerships in the US and owner of a film production company that has recruited Clint Eastwood or Ridley Scott, was looking for his coup. His project was so ambitious that he signed The Special One. The result could not be more immediate: at the end of the first season it was proclaimed champion of the Conference League, the third and newly released UEFA competition. He could not lift this Wednesday in Budapest the Europa League, a more recognizable title that increased the pride of the tifosi and opened a door that has closed too long: the Champions League.

Mourinho's future, then, is unknown. He has one more season on his contract and the team in Europa League positions in Serie A. However, the rumble of an exit accompanies him. In fact, he spoke about this with his captains, Pellegrini and Mancini, before the match against Sevilla. "But it is something that must remain between us," warned the coach who is linked with PSG. The Portuguese opts for secrecy, even comparing his situation with that of Mendilibar, perhaps hoping that a new title would help the American owner inject more resources into the project and entrust it to him. Now, it's all doubts.

  • Sevilla FC
  • Jose Mourinho
  • Articles Inma Lidón

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