Roma manager Jose Mourinho has never lost a European final while Sevilla are six from six in Europa League finals. Something has to give in Budapest tonight.
Portugal’s Mourinho has five major continental titles to his name – two Champions League wins, two Europa League trophies and last year’s triumph in the inaugural Europa Conference League with the Italian side.
The 60-year-old announced himself on the big stage in 2003 when he led Porto to the UEFA Cup, the Europa League’s precursor, and the following year he won the Champions League.
Inter Milan became champions of Europe on his watch for the first time in 45 years in 2010 and he celebrated his fourth continental trophy during his spell at Manchester United in 2017, winning the Europa League.
Twenty years on he is defying the naysayers who said his career was on the wane after a disappointing spell at Tottenham.
If Roma lift the trophy in Hungary, Mourinho will pull clear of Giovanni Trapattoni, who also won five major European trophies in his coaching career.
The much-travelled Mourinho is in no doubt he is improving with age and experience.
“Better coach, better person, same DNA,” said the Portuguese. “The DNA is motivation, is happiness. Desire for these big moments, and these are the feelings that I try to pass to the boys.
“I think you can be better and better with your experiences. I think your brain becomes sharper and the accumulation of knowledge is better with the years.
“I think you stop when you lose motivation. My motivation grows up every day. I think I am better now.”
Roma, who edged past Bayer Leverkusen in the semi-finals, finished sixth in Serie A but victory against their Spanish opponents this week would be a passport into the Champions League.
Mourinho’s future beyond this season is uncertain but he says for now his only focus is on today’s match at the Puskas Arena.
To achieve his target, Mourinho must get past Sevilla, who are kings of Europe’s second-tier competition – their tally of six wins is double that of Inter Milan, Liverpool, Juventus and Atletico Madrid.
Dates, Venue and Match Time
The highly anticipated 2023 UEFA Europa League final featuring Roma and Sevilla will take place at the magnificent Puskás Aréna stadium in Hungary, Today, 31 May at 8 pm.
The 2023 UEFA Europa League final will be the second UEFA final to take place at Puskás Aréna, which previously hosted the 2020 UEFA Super Cup.
The home of the Hungarian national team also staged four games at UEFA EURO 2020.