On Tuesday afternoon, an announcement from the capital sent shockwaves throughout the football world. José Mourinho will be the manager of Roma starting next season.
Some of the observers were surprised by the move, especially as the Special one is renown for taking charge of some of the strongest clubs in the biggest leagues in the world – whilst the Giallorossi have been suffering outside of the Top 4 positions in Serie A in the last years.
On the other hand, some felt that the Portuguese is trying to rebuild his status with a less competitive team after his recent struggles with the big English club, whilst others took it as a sign from the American owners (the Friedkin family) on their intent on building a great side.
However, a certain element of contrast can be noted. Even though the Italians sides are historically famous for their solidity and ability to grind out results, the capital side possesses a different reputation.
Know as La Magica, Roma have been able to portray a different brand football than the rigid stereotypical one displayed by so many of their compatriots, a brand that almost contradicts everything that Mourinho stands for.
Nonetheless, their exciting style of football didn’t deliver too many trophies to their hungry fans. In their entire history, the club only won three Scudetto titles, with the last one coming in 2001.
This is where we must point out that the last manager that succeeded in bringing the domestic title to the eternal city was in fact Fabio Capello – one of the most stubborn coaches of his generation, a man who always favored substance over style, results over beauty.
On the other hand, we’ve witnessed the likes of Paulo Fonseca, Eusebio Di Francesco, Luis Enrique and Zdenek Zeman all trying to play some progressive football, but eventually failing to deliver a single trophy.
Even though the lack of funds has been the major problem that limited the team’s ability to compete against the richer northerners, a change in mentality is well-needed.
Whilst it is almost impossible to predict whether Mourinho will eventually succeed or not, but one thing is for sure, we’ll be witnessing a fiercer and more determined Roma starting next season.