- Mourinho was sacked by Roma last month after a poor first-half of the season
- It has emerged he returned a ring the players gifted him after European triumph
- A lap of honour for a win, apologising when you lose… When did it come to this? Listen to the It’s All Kicking Off podcast
Jose Mourinho left behind a staggeringly bitter farewell note to his Roma players after ‘feeling betrayed’ by the manner of his sacking.
Mourinho, 61, didn’t hide his emotions when he left Roma but now the full details of his rancorous exit from the Stadio Olimpico are emerging.
He left it in the locker of captain Lorenzo Pellegrini before departing.
Jose Mourinho left behind a bitter note to the Roma players he felt betrayed him after getting the sack last month – also returning a ring they’d gifted him
it is reported that Mourinho felt betrayed by his players and the club when he was let go
The 61-year-old led Roma to Conference League success in 2022 but was sacked nearly two years later
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But it’s now emerged that Mourinho also left a brutal note which read: ‘When you are men, give it back to me.’
It expressed how Mourinho felt betrayed by his players, who he felt contributed to him losing his job.
Roma sat ninth in Serie A at the time of his dismissal but the players have since rallied around Mourinho’s successor, the former captain Daniele de Rossi, with three wins from three.
On Monday night, they thrashed Cagliari 4-0 to climb up to fifth in the Serie A standings.
Mourinho, the former Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid coach, was adored by the Roma fans after guiding them to Europa Conference League glory with a 1-0 win over Feyenoord in Tirana.
The ‘Special One’ was so delighted by this success he got a tattoo showing the Conference League trophy alongside the European Cup and the Europa League.
His players gave him a ring to commemorate their achievement, which was almost topped last season when they reached the Europa League final, only to lose on penalties to Sevilla.
Mourinho didn’t have the best relationship with his players and he felt they played a role in his replacement with interim boss De Rossi after a turbulent first half of the season.
The report suggests that Mourinho left the ring he was gifted and the bitter farewell note in the locker of captain Lorenzo Pellegrini (pictured)
Roma appointed former captain Daniele de Rossi (centre) as manager just hours after Mourinho was sacked
As revealed by Mail Sport on the It’s All Kicking Off podcast last week, Mourinho is keen on making a sensational – if unlikely – return to Old Trafford.
Sources close to the Portuguese manager say he feels he has ‘unfinished business’ after leaving Old Trafford in December 2018 and ‘has made it his mission’ to take charge again should the opportunity arise at some point in the future.
Mourinho is also said to be keen to work with the new regime at United, with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS taking over football operations as part of the petrochemicals billionaire’s 25 per cent investment in the club.
‘His ambition is to return to United,’ a friend explained. ‘He feels like he has unfinished business there after how it ended last time and he had made it his mission to go back.’
Mourinho took charge at United in 2016 following the departure of Louis van Gaal. He lifted the Europa League and Carabao Cup in his first season and followed that up with a second-placed finish in the Premier League the following year, although they did finish a distant 19 points behind rivals City.
He signed a contract extension that ran to 2021 but tension grew between himself and those in positions of power, especially after the club missed out on a series of transfer targets and he was sacked following a defeat to Liverpool.
To the end, Mourinho retained the backing of United’s matchday following – although there was a sense of inevitability over his departure.
Jose Mourinho is keen to return to unfinished business at Man United after his turbulent two-year stint (pictured in 2017)