Jose Mourinho at 60: Portuguese great 'still number one' in the eyes of Inter legend Sneijder

By Sports Desk January 26, 2023

Jose Mourinho is "still number one" in the eyes of former Inter star Wesley Sneijder.

The Portuguese boss celebrates his 60th birthday on Thursday and is back in Italian football with Roma, who he led to glory in the inaugural season of the UEFA Conference League in 2021-22.

That triumph was Mourinho's fifth continental title, having won the Champions League with Porto and Inter, the UEFA Cup with Porto and the Europa League with Manchester United.

Mourinho's treble-winning season with Inter in 2009-10 is one of the highlights of his illustrious career, with Sneijder part of the team that dominated in the Nerazzurri's most famous campaign.

The Portuguese great went on to enjoy LaLiga success with Real Madrid, while leading Chelsea to the Premier League title in his second spell in charge, which preceded winning the EFL Cup and Europa League with United.

However, he was sacked by both clubs and by Tottenham prior to joining Roma, with some believing Mourinho's reputation has taken a hit.

Sneijder, however, still rates Mourinho ahead of his managerial rivals.

"I have great memories of him, especially when we won the Champions League. He was very determined and so confident we would win that match," he told Stats Perform.

"He knows exactly how to behave with his players on the pitch but especially off it. As I said before, with him there was no need for a chairman, he protected all the players.

"For me, he is still number one."

Having guided Roma to a sixth-place finish in Serie A last season, Mourinho's side are now in the midst of a fierce battle for a top-four finish and Champions League football.

Roma are fifth, level on points with Inter and Lazio ahead of them, while just three points separate second-placed Milan from sixth-placed Atalanta.

With many rival teams enduring problems this season, Sneijder feels Mourinho and Roma have a great opportunity to take advantage.

"Of course, he is doing well there. As you said, Milan, Inter and Juventus with all their problems are a bit in trouble now, so this is the right moment [for Roma]," he added.

"But there is Napoli now who are doing great in Serie A and in the Champions League. It will be hard to beat Napoli, but Roma can beat all the others."

Related items

  • Darren Moore frustrated as late goals spell defeat for Port Vale Darren Moore frustrated as late goals spell defeat for Port Vale

    New Port Vale manager Darren Moore was “bitterly disappointed” with the closing stages of the 2-0 League One defeat at Reading as late goals led to Moore’s second successive defeat since taking charge.

    Vale offered little throughout a scrappy affair and Reading’s constant second-half pressure paid off through Lewis Wing, in the 76th minute, and Harvey Knibbs seven minutes later.

    Vale, now eight games without a win, lie two points from safety but have games in hand over most of the teams above them.

    Moore, who succeeded the sacked Andy Crosby last week, said: “I was bitterly disappointed with those last 16 or 17 minutes.

    “It was a lapse in concentration that’s once again undone us this evening and we have to be better than that.

    “It’s those small percentages that can decide a game and you have to be better at them, in order to drag the game by the scruff of the neck and get that positive result that we need.

    “I’m disappointed because we didn’t deserve that tonight but, at the same time, we’ve only got ourselves to blame.

    “There was a lot of positives, though. We had just one day to work on our shape, we had two classroom sessions, and the boys applied themselves absolutely spot on.

    “Reading didn’t really cause us too much trouble in their rotations and play. We kind of saw a lot of those things off.

    “In terms of us with the ball, I was pleased with the back to the middle to the attack.

    “If there is one small criticism, it is probably getting those bodies in (to the penalty area) and finishing off what we had maintained throughout the game.

    “We needed to commit those bodies forward to get that final contact on the ball. And it will come.”

    Reading are now six points clear of the relegation zone.

    “It was a good way to respond after Saturday (when they lost 4-1 at leaders Portsmouth),” said manager Ruben Selles.

    “We spoke after the game and for me, that game did not reflect the way that we played and the way that we performed. Tonight reflects more the way that we play.

    “It took us 15 to 20 minutes to adjust things because it was just Darren’s second game and he changed the formation that Vale usually play.

    “We were prepared for a different scenario so early on it was more competitive than we first expected.

    “But we adjusted after that and, after half-time, we fully adjusted in the second half. We then dominated the game.

    “We stayed patient, we built up the game. When the game is open, we can be very dynamic.”

  • Jon Brady hails Tony Springett as Northampton steal late point at Oxford Jon Brady hails Tony Springett as Northampton steal late point at Oxford

    Northampton boss Jon Brady was full of praise for Tony Springett after he scored a stoppage-time equaliser to clinch a point in a 2-2 League One draw at near-neighbours Oxford.

    The on-loan Norwich winger showed good composure with a tidy finish in a crowded goalmouth after collecting Will Hoskins’ left-wing cross for his first league goal.

    Brady said: “It was an excellent moment for Tony and I’m really pleased for him. He’s had to be patient for his opportunities.

    “He came on today and the little dummy he did just before when the ball comes across goal… he’s calm enough to move the defender and it was an excellent finish.

    “It was a fantastic point overall and I’m very pleased for the boys.

    “I felt we were very disciplined in our approach tonight and clinical.

    “We reduced them to a lot of shots from distance. (Goalkeeper) Louie Moulden came to the fore right at the end but apart from that, they didn’t really trouble us.”

    Oxford led through Josh Murphy’s thunderbolt in the fifth minute but Cobblers levelled through Will Hondermarck, 10 minutes before the break.

    Will Goodwin scored his first goal for the U’s by diverting in Owen Dale’s cross in the 81st minute to put Oxford 2-1 up, but Springett earned Northampton a point with his composed finish in the third minute of stoppage-time.

    Brady added: “The first goal that we conceded, we’ve got to do better.

    “Our players are absolutely excellent in terms of discipline and work rate.

    “After conceding early tonight we showed immense character out of possession and I can’t really remember them troubling us apart from distance and our own mistakes.

    “They can have all the possession they wanted tonight, it was how we dealt with it out of possession and I felt we controlled the game that way.”

    The U’s have now drawn five of their last six matches to sit fifth in the table but have played two games more than seventh-placed Stevenage.

    Oxford head coach Des Buckingham said: “We picked an attacking line-up and to score after only five or six minutes put us on a good front foot.

    “We did enough with the changes we made in the second half to get back in front and then it was a matter of making sure we manage those final few minutes.

    “There’s a big hint of offside with Northampton’s second goal, but there were still many things we could have done better after that moment.

    “It’s frustrating to leave with what we thought would be three points and end up with the one.

    “We’re six games unbeaten and I know people don’t want to hear that because most of them are draws rather than wins.

    “The most important thing is we’re picking up results and it keeps us in and around where we want to be.

    “We’ll get better and get stronger every week.”

  • Win at Southampton was exactly what we’ve worked for – Liam Rosenior Win at Southampton was exactly what we’ve worked for – Liam Rosenior

    Liam Rosenior described Hull’s performance in their 2-1 victory over Southampton as the culmination of his work as Tigers boss.

    Anass Zaroury bagged his first goal for the club since arriving on loan from Burnley before Liverpool loanee Fabio Carvalho put the visitors in control for their fourth straight away win – and first at Southampton since 1951.

    Rosenior, whose side made it three wins in a row for the first time since he took over in November 2022 and moved into the play-off places, said: “We’ve come away to an outstanding team, with outstanding players and an outstanding manager, and we had to be brave.

    “That first-half performance is exactly what I’ve been working so hard to bring to the club. I have bored all the supporters talking about the process but seeing that first-half performance was top.

    “I am so proud of the lads but I don’t want to get carried away. I just see it as the next step for this team.

    “From the outside it is a big step but inside I don’t take any notice of runs or what we can and can’t achieve.

    “This is a young team that will make mistakes, and we’ll make more mistakes along the way, but when it comes off it is a delight to watch.”

    The Tigers struck in the 11th minute when a long ball from goalkeeper Ryan Allsop caught Saints off-guard. Ryan Giles carried before the ball found its way to Jaden Philogene, and Gavin Bazunu parried the winger’s powerful shot into the path of Zaroury to tap in his first goal in five days short of a year.

    Philogene then nabbed the ball off Joe Rothwell on the edge of the Saints box before releasing Carvalho for his second goal since arriving from Anfield.

    Joe Aribo grabbed an 88th-minute consolation for Saints but their manager Russell Martin was left furious at the first-half horror show.

    Saints ended an 11-game winning run at St Mary’s to drop to fourth and Martin said: “First half was rubbish, the second half was very good but that doesn’t matter very much when you’re 2-0 down.

    “No one cares if you play well in the second half when you aren’t good in the first half and are behind.

    “Hull were good, we knew that from the first game (a last-minute 2-1 win for Saints in October). We had a good chance with Rothwell before they can get into the game, we don’t take it, and somehow that doesn’t spur us on to go more aggressive.

    “Their goal is something we worked on in training yesterday as we’ve seen them do it a lot, so to allow that to happen is a nonsense.

    “Last week’s defeat (their first after 25 games unbeaten, against Bristol City) was down to a lack of aggression, this week it was a lack of courage. The two things you need is courage and aggression.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.