'The FIRED ONE': Italian papers mark Jose Mourinho's Roma sacking with 'the capital in shock' at dismissal of coach who 'wrote an unforgettable story' by guiding the club to two European finals
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'The FIRED ONE': Italian papers mark Jose Mourinho's Roma sacking with 'the capital in shock' at dismissal of coach who 'wrote an unforgettable story' by guiding the club to two European finals

Feb 23, 2024

Jose Mourinho has become the ‘Fired One’ after Roma sacked him with the club languishing ninth in the Serie A table.

A poor run of just one run in six league matches sealed Mourinho’s fate as they fell further behind in the race for European qualification.

Ex-Chelsea and Manchester United boss Mourinho, 60, led Roma to success in the Europa Conference League during his first season as their coach.

Last season, they made it to the final of the Europa League but were defeated on penalties by Sevilla.

But Mourinho’s classic third season syndrome has now kicked in with results – and his increasingly erratic behaviour on the touchline, which saw him sent off twice in a few days this month – seeing him dismissed on Tuesday.

The sacking of Jose Mourinho by Roma unsurprisingly dominates the Italian front pages

The sacking of Jose Mourinho by Roma unsurprisingly dominates the Italian front pages

'Fired One' quipped Corriere dello Sport on their front cover following the shock news

‘Fired One’ quipped Corriere dello Sport on their front cover following the shock news 

The Portuguese coach, 60, leaves with the Italian club languishing in ninth place in Serie A

The Portuguese coach, 60, leaves with the Italian club languishing in ninth place in Serie A

That news unsurprisingly dominates the front covers of the Italian sports dailies on Wednesday. Corriere dello Sport called Mourinho the ‘Fired One’, an obvious play on his old ‘Special One’ nickname.

The ‘capital is in shock’, they said, as Roma’s owners, the Friedkin family, sacked the man who guided the club to two European finals.

They quote the statement released by Dan and Ryan Friedkin, who stressed ‘immediate change’ was necessary ‘in the best interest of the club.’

Roma have turned to club legend Daniele De Rossi to lead the team until the end of the season.

‘The excitement of being able to sit on our bench is indescribable. Everyone knows what Roma means to me,’ De Rossi said.

‘Jose out and the Friedkins turn to an icon,’ say Gazzetta dello Sport, who claim De Rossi will bring new ideas with him, such as playing Paulo Dybala behind two strikers.

The Roma-devoted paper Il Romanista thanked Mourinho for the memories of two stunning European runs, picturing him lifting the Conference League trophy in 2022.

‘From Tirana to Budapest, the Special One wrote an unforgettable story,’ they said.

Il Romanista thanked Mourinho for 'writing an unforgettable story' after two European finals

Il Romanista thanked Mourinho for ‘writing an unforgettable story’ after two European finals

Mourinho's touchline behaviour had become increasingly erratic with two recent red cards

Mourinho’s touchline behaviour had become increasingly erratic with two recent red cards

They also quote from Mourinho’s emotional Instagram post after his sacking, a montage of pictures from his tenure set to Andrea Bocelli singing Now We Are Free from Gladiator.

He wrote: ‘Sweat, blood, tears, joy, sadness, love, brothers, history, heart, eternity.’

Mourinho’s contract was set to expire at the end of this season and there had been increasingly speculation surrounding his future before Roma’s announcement on Tuesday. 

However, over recent weeks, he had outlined his desire to stay at the club, with the 60-year-old rubbishing speculation linking him with Saudi Arabia.

Speaking after a 2-0 defeat to Bologna on December 17, Mourinho said: ‘I want to continue at Roma. And if I stay at Roma we’ve got to really think hard about the financial fair play limitations we have, because maybe it’s better to work with younger players and give them some chances.

Roma have appointed club legend Daniele de Rossi as their new head coach

Roma have appointed club legend Daniele de Rossi as their new head coach 

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‘That could present an opportunity for development, compared to players who have nothing left to develop. I want to continue and I’m open to a new approach.’ 

The former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United boss won 68 of his 138 matches in charge, but was repeatedly at the centre of disciplinary problems.

Just last week, Mourinho was dismissed for the second match in a row after a violent and chaotic Rome derby in the Coppa Italia quarter-final which his side lost 1-0 to arch-rivals Lazio. 

The Portuguese coach had already accumulated a mammoth five red cards in total during 2023-24, which follows the three dismissals he received in 2022-23.

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