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José Mourinho: ‘What happened, happened… I always look forward’

The Roma boss wants to extend his flawless record in European finals when they face Sevilla in the Europa League final on Wednesday.

José Mourinho confident of Europa League win
Riccardo AntimianiEFE

After a 31-year wait to reach the final of a European competition, AS Roma have now done so in two consecutive seasons under the guidance of José Mourinho.

In his first year in charge the enigmatic coach secured the club’s first European triumph since the 1961 Inter-Cities Fair Cup, beating Feyenoord in the inaugural season of the Europa Conference League.

Mourinho now leads the team into the Europa League final against Sevilla on Wednesday. The 60-year-old has won all five of the European finals in which his teams have played, but he insists that he is paying no attention to his impressive record.

“I don’t think too much about what happened before,” he said in an interview with UEFA. “What happened, happened.”

“The difficult moments with [those] feelings, you also don’t forget them, but you get used to living with them. And I always look forward. Maybe that’s my secret or my philosophy, of being in football for so many years, so this final for me is a new final.”

Mourinho claims that history does not play a part

The Portuguese coach has led Porto, Inter Milan, Manchester United and now Roma to continental titles. Last year he become the first manager to win all three UEFA club competitions.

He has managed some of the most well-known clubs in world football, most notably Chelsea and Real Madrid, but knows that it takes more than reputation to win in the crucial games.

History doesn’t win matches at all. You look at Real Madrid’s finals and you think Real Madrid wins every final,” he said.

“You look at Sevilla and you say Sevilla wins every final. But the reality is that history doesn’t win matches.

He continued: “Superstition is something that I don’t like, so I don’t look at superstition even as a factor.”

Mourinho praises “incredible quality” of Europa League

Roma have knocked out some very talented teams on their way to this final against Sevilla. In the knock-out stages they have eliminated Champions League-bound Real Sociedad, Dutch champions Feyenoord and a Bayer Leverkusen side who have impressed under Xabi Alonso.

Mourinho was eager to emphasise his team’s achievement, reaching a second consecutive final, given the opposition in this season’s tournament.

“To be in this final is something that nobody would have expected at the beginning of the season when you see the incredible, incredible quality of the teams in the Europa League,” he said.

Barcelona and Arsenal were in this competition and they were kicked out very, very early.”

He added: “For Roma to be in this final, it means a lot. So let’s try to give [the fans] the ultimate happiness.”