‘Football is about winning and it wins!’: Owen Hargreaves hails Jose Mourinho for leading Roma to their first European Cup in 61 years and claims the Portuguese coach is ‘at his best when he’s the underdog’ .
Owen Hargreaves was full of praise for Jose Mourinho after the former Manchester United and Chelsea manager guided Roma to victory in the Europa Conference League final.
The Italians defeated Feyenoord 1-0 thanks to a 32nd minute effort from Nicolo Zaniolo.
It was Roma’s first European trophy since the 1961 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and Mourinho’s fifth win in as many European finals. He is now the only manager to have won all three major European trophies.
Jose Mourinho is now the only manager in history to have won all three major European trophies
Speaking on BT Sport’s coverage of the final, Hargreaves said: “Mourinho is almost at his best when he’s the outsider, like you saw initially when he was in Porto.
“They won’t blow people away, that’s not his style of football but he gets the job done. Football is about winning and Mourinho wins.”
The Portuguese manager guided Roma to sixth place in Serie A this season and has brought out the best in England stars Tammy Abraham and Chris Smalling. He led the team on a three-month unbeaten run in the league from mid-January to mid-April.
Fellow expert and Chelsea legend Joe Cole was also full of admiration for his former manager. He said: “Roma have an excellent manager in Jose. I had a good half hour with him and he was in top form going into this game.”
“Roma have gone through a few managers, lost a direction and an identity. He’s loved in town, but there’s still a way to go.’
Owen Hargreaves praised how Mourinho “gets the job done” with his focus on winning.
Cole was managed by Mourinho during his first spell at Chelsea from 2004 to 2007, which saw him win two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and two League Cups.
The former midfielder continued: “Those scenes now, especially for the lads who have come through the ranks at Roma – you can’t go to this city without feeling the club.
“Football is a religion there and they will feel like heroes and be remembered, but this is the beginning of the journey.
“Jose will be back in the office planning if they can try the Europa League and get closer to the titles.”