Jose Mourinho made a surprise return to football after being announced as the new AS Roma manager for the next season and signing a three-year deal.
Mourinho was sacked as Tottenham manager on April 19 but made a quick return, the Serie A club confirmed on Tuesday.
“Many thanks to the Friedkin family for choosing me to lead this great club and to be part of their vision,” said Mourinho.
“After meeting the owner and Tiago Pinto, I immediately understood the full extent of their ambitions for AS Roma. It’s the same ambition and drive that has always motivated me, and together we want to build a successful project in the years to come.
“The incredible passion of the Roma fans convinced me to take the job and I can’t wait to start next season.
“In the meantime, I wish Paulo Fonseca all the best and hope the media will appreciate that I won’t speak again until the time comes.”
– Serie A on ESPN +: Stream LIVE games and reruns (US only)
– Social media reacts to Mourinho’s return to Serie A.
– Olley: In Mourinho’s stormy spell at Spurs
The former coach of Porto, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Manchester United will replace Fonseca, who will leave the club at the end of the season.
“We are delighted to welcome José Mourinho to the AS Roma family,” said Club President Dan Friedkin and Vice President Ryan Friedkin.
“Jose is a great champion who has won trophies at all levels and he will add tremendous leadership and experience to our ambitious project.
“The appointment of Jose is a huge step in building a long-term and consistent profit culture across the club.”
The news comes two days before Roma’s Europa League semi-final against Manchester United, a game they are 6-2 in total. Sources had told ESPN that a move for Maurizio Sarri, former Chelsea and Juventus coach, was “80% complete” and an oral agreement was reached before Roma shocked Mourinho.
Roma are seventh in Serie A, 14 points outside the Champions League qualifying positions and nine points behind rivals Lazio.
The Serie A team represents the 10th club Mourinho has managed in his career. He started in Portugal and headed Benfica, Uniao de Leiria and Porto. His record there, including winning the 2004 Champions League, led Chelsea to appoint him as manager in 2004. Since then he has headed Inter Milan (2008-10), Real Madrid (2010-13), Chelsea (2013-15), Manchester United (2016-18) and Tottenham (2019-21).
Roma General Manager Pinto added: “When Jose became available, we immediately took the opportunity to speak to one of the greatest managers of all time.
“We were overwhelmed by Jose’s will to win and his passion for the game: no matter how many trophies he won, his focus is always on the next one. He has the knowledge, experience and leadership to survive at all levels.”
“We know that it takes time, patience and the right people in the right positions to build a successful sports project. We are extremely confident that Jose will be the perfect coach for our project, both our immediate and long-term Future. “