Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho before the Champions League against Maccabi Tel Aviv. [Credit: JoshJdss/Flickr]

AS Roma have announced that Jose Mourinho will take over as manager of the club from the start of the 2021-22 campaign.

The Portuguese manager, who was sacked from Tottenham Hotspur 15 days ago, is replacing current boss Paulo Fonseca, who is leaving at the end of the current season.

Mourinho’s stint at Tottenham lasted for 17 months and ended a week before the club’s Carabao Cup Final against Manchester City.

The Portuguese’s new job as AS Roma manager is his second venture into Italian football, after his stint at Inter Milan between 2008-2010, where he famously won the UEFA Champions League.

In a statement on the AS Roma website, president Dan Friedkin and vice-president Ryan Friedkin said: “We are thrilled and delighted to welcome José Mourinho into the AS Roma family.

“A great champion who has won trophies at every level, José will provide tremendous leadership and experience to our ambitious project.

“The appointment of José is a huge step in building a long-term and consistent winning culture throughout the club.”

The club also published comments from Mourinho himself on his excitement for his new challenge.

“Thank you to the Friedkin family for choosing me to lead this great club and to be part of their vision,” Mourinho said.

“After meetings with the ownership and Tiago Pinto, I immediately understood the full extent of their ambitions for AS Roma. It is the same ambition and drive that has always motivated me and together we want to build a winning project over the upcoming years.

“The incredible passion of the Roma fans convinced me to accept the job and I cannot wait to start next season.

“In the meantime, I wish Paulo Fonseca all the best and I hope the media appreciate that I will only speak further in due course. Daje Roma!”

In the past Mourinho has gained a reputation for taking charge of elite clubs such as Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United. However, his Roma appointment looks to be a similar challenge as the one he took up in his previous job with Spurs.

It may have been earlier on in the season, but Spurs were a wounded animal in 14th place after 12 matches, clearly slipping further down the slope they began down after defeat to Liverpool in the Champions League Final, when Mourinho took over in late 2019.

AS Roma find themselves in a comparable position as a club. In 2018 they reached their peak, defeating Barcelona in the Champions League quarter finals before missing out on the final with a loss over two legs to Liverpool in the semi-finals.

They would go on to lose key players such as Alisson Becker, Radja Nainggolan, and Kevin Strootman, and year later they missed out on the Serie A’s top four for the first time since 2013. They have not been able to reclaim Champions League football since, currently sitting 7th place in the Italian top-flight.

Given the state of Serie A this season, it will be to interesting to see what Mourinho can do with the backing of Roma’s owners over the summer, as they aim to close the gap to the top.

Inter Milan were confirmed as the country’s Champions for the first time since 2010 over the weekend, and in the process prevented titans Juventus from winning a ninth consecutive scudetto.

The Turin club have languished this season and let their control of Serie A slip, and given Mourinho’s track record for winning titles – eight across his 21-year managerial career – sports commentators believe this would be a golden opportunity for the Giallorossi to stake their claim for future Serie A titles.