Jose Mourinho’s 1,000th game as a manager was commemorated by a traditional Jose Mourinho celebration. He rewinded the clock, racing down the touchline with his players to celebrate Stephan El Shaarawy’s injury-time winner for Roma.
Those events were reminiscent of his legendary moment as manager of Porto in 2004, when he charged down the Old Trafford touchline after knocking Manchester United out of the Champions League.
That was the year he led the Portuguese team to the title before becoming the self-proclaimed “special one” at Chelsea.
“I wasn’t 58 when I started fantasizing about a future in football; I was 10 or 12 or 14. After the 2-1 victory over Sassuolo, Mourinho commented, “I was running like a child.” “And for that, I apologized to [Sassuolo coach Alessio] Dionisi.”
The Portuguese, who joined Roma in May after being sacked by Tottenham Hotspur, explained that the goal was particularly vital because he was “frightened” of losing the historic match.
“I was lying to people during the week, telling everyone this wasn’t a special game – perhaps I was also trying to persuade myself,” he added.
“But actually it was – this game had a really special meaning for me. And I am sure I will remember it for the rest of my life because my 1000th game as a coach was this one.
“I didn’t want to lose it, and I was very scared of having that be my lasting memory of the moment. So I was lying to everyone beforehand. It was a very special feeling.
“Perhaps God decided that I didn’t deserve to have a negative memory of this particular game.”
Mourinho has won numerous awards as a manager, including two Champions League trophies, three Premier League crowns, three La Liga titles, and two Scudettos, but many believed his talents were diminishing after his failures at Spurs and Manchester United. In the Italian city, however, he appears to have regained his mojo, as he has now won his first five games as Roma manager, which is the first time he has done so with a team.