LONDON – After giving his silver medal to a fan in the crowd, AC Roma boss Jose Mourinho thanked his players despite losing in penalties to Sevilla in the UEFA Europa League final in Budapest, reported PA Media/dpa.
Mourinho was set to become the most decorated European manager in history with six trophies and after a Paulo Dybala goal put them in front it was looking likely.
Roma went on to concede an own goal and lost 4-1 in penalties when Roger Ibanez and Gianluca Mancini missed from the spot.
Mourinho told ITV Italy after the game: “I’ve won five finals and I lost this one, but I’m coming back home proud again. The boys gave everything.
“We felt pressure against a team that has more talent than us. We lost a game but not dignity.
“I’ve never gone home prouder than today, even when I won. We had also worked hard on penalties but… we missed two – but all together, not only the penalty takers.”
Mourinho said while his players are sad, his side deserves to go home with their heads held high.
“We are all attached to the shirt, to our nature. We take things seriously and humbly, we work a lot,” Mourinho said.
“Everyone reacts in a different way: one cries, the other doesn’t.
“Congratulations to Sevilla, but also congratulations to my players. The boys must go home peacefully, with pride for having done what they have done. These are my boys from Budapest.”
Footage after the game showed Mourinho handing his medal to a child in the stands.
Meanwhile, Sevilla forward Erik Lamela told BT Sport it was a really tough game as Sevilla won their seventh Europa League title.
“This is amazing, I can’t ask for more, this feeling is unbelievable,” he said.
“Really tough game, not an easy game to play, we were not feeling in our best way because they defended well and it was difficult to find the spaces and create situations but this team fought it out and tonight we’re going to enjoy it.” – Bernama