The announcement of Mourinho’s appointment only came about three hours after Roma had made it known that Paulo Fonseca would be leaving the dugout at the end of the 2020-21 campaign.
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) May 4, 2021
To complete the head-spinning effect of the revolving door at the Stadio Olimpico, Mourinho himself was fired by Tottenham Hotspur little over a fortnight ago, on April 17 (an announcement which was buried by the unfolding saga around the breakaway European Super League).
— FourFourTwo (@FourFourTwo) May 4, 2021
— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) May 4, 2021
Hearing of Mourinho’s return to Italy, the last place where he felt truly widespread popularity, felt at once both baffling and strangely inevitable.
Guess he just really missed Pedro
— Tom Victor (@tomvictor) May 4, 2021
The Portuguese coach is returning to the country where he won the Treble of Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League with Inter Milan in 2010. His arrival back in Italy will set off the *narrative klaxon* ahead of next season.
Jose Mourinho to be the coach of Roma next season. Could I be anymore excited????
Love Fonseca but I love the drama more!
— Mina Rzouki (@Minarzouki) May 4, 2021
Jose Mourinho back in Italy and trying to take down his former club, Inter, coached by Antonio Conte, who just took down his former club, Juventus.
Nobody does storylines like Serie A.
— Nicky Bandini (@NickyBandini) May 4, 2021
Ah yes, Antonio Conte. The coach who has just led Inter to their first league title in 11 years had plenty of run-ins with his former Premier League rival when he was in charge of Chelsea and Mourinho was at Manchester United.
Their two-year tussle in England featured various face-offs on the touchline and barbs traded via news conferences and postmatch interviews. Conte aimed digs at his rival for his lack of a professional playing career and called him a “fake,” while Mourinho made fun of his counterpart’s hair and said he acted like “a clown” on the sidelines.
Mourinho vs. Conte 👀
Serie A is going to be fiery next season 🔥 pic.twitter.com/MmpdkUZ1Rs
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 4, 2021
👀 We can’t wait for these two to meet up again next season!
😬 No hard feelings? pic.twitter.com/nfgxqP93w1
— SPORF (@Sporf) May 4, 2021
Conte is not the only ghost from Mourinho’s past with whom he will soon be reacquainted. Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were both under his charge at Old Trafford. No doubt they will be delighted to see their old boss — Mkhitaryan in particular. The midfielder took more than a month to make his first start for Mourinho’s United following his much-vaunted summer signing from Borussia Dortmund in 2016, and the moved to Arsenal on a free transfer 18 months later as Alexis Sanchez made the opposite journey.
Smalling and Mkhitaryan right now pic.twitter.com/7tQ8ze4nJT
— North Texas Reds (@northtxreds) May 4, 2021
And let’s not forget the simmering resentment he is sure to be met with by fans of Juventus. After his Manchester United side secured a 2-1 win in Turin in a Champions League group match in 2018, Mourinho cupped his ear to the crowd and was met with an angry reaction by Juve’s [players.
Mourinho will be heading back to face Juventus for the first time since this happened 👀
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 4, 2021
Mourinho said afterward:
“I was insulted for 90 minutes. I probably shouldn’t have done it, and with a cool head I wouldn’t have done it, but with my family insulted, including my Inter family, I reacted like this.”
One of the surprising things about Mourinho’s appointment at Roma was that he had already got a new job, as last week it was announced that he would be taking up a role as an analyst for talkSPORT.
— Jonny Sharples (@JonnyGabriel) May 4, 2021
Will Mourinho remain a relic, or will he be restored to former glory in the Eternal City?
Jose Mourinho appointed Roma coach a day after they announce the renovation of the Colosseum. One is a crumbling monument that once inspired awe but that’s best days are well behind it and the other is the Colosseum send tweet
— Tom Williams (@tomwfootball) May 4, 2021
You can watch it all happen next season by streaming LIVE games and replays in ESPN+ (U.S. only). Whatever happens, it’s going to be a wild ride.