ROME – This should be fun.
José Mourinho, that most outspoken of soccer coaches, will take over next season at Roma, the team with some of the most outspoken fans in Italy.
“The incredible passion of the Roma fans convinced me to accept the job and I cannot wait to start next season,” Mourinho said in Roma's surprise announcement Tuesday.
Mourinho's task will be to challenge new Serie A champion Inter Milan — the team he memorably led to a treble of titles little more than a decade ago during his only previous job in Italy.
“We are thrilled and delighted to welcome José Mourinho into the AS Roma family,” club president Dan Friedkin and vice president Ryan Friedkin said. “A great champion who has won trophies at every level, José will provide tremendous leadership and experience to our ambitious project."
Having memorably declared himself the “Special One” when he first reached the big time at Chelsea in 2004, one of Mourinho’s most famous phrases in Italy was uttered at the expense of Roma five years later.
Shortly after a 3-3 draw between Inter and Roma that included a controversial penalty for Inter won by Mario Balotelli, Mourinho responded to outrage from Roma fans by pointing out that the Giallorossi would finish the season with “zero titles” despite possessing a squad full of “great players.”
These days, Roma is mostly a young team with a few aging stars like Edin Džeko.