Why was Jose Mourinho sacked by Roma? Record, trophies, controversies, form in Serie A explained

Roma have sacked manager Jose Mourinho following a run of one win in six Serie A matches which has left the three-time champions in their lowest mid-season position in the Italian top flight for six years.

After being appointed in May 2021, Mourinho led Roma to successive sixth-placed finishes and UEFA Europa Conference League glory at the end of the 2021/22 season.

But Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at AC Milan, where Mourinho watched from the stands because the Portuguese coach was serving his latest touchline ban, was the second in five days for the ninth-placed team in the table, who also lost the derby 1-0 at Lazio in the Coppa Italia quarterfinals on Wednesday.

What have Roma said about Mourinho’s departure and how does his record across his time at the club look? The Sporting News examines the figures.

MORE: Jose Mourinho record in cup finals

Why did Roma fire Jose Mourinho as manager?

In an official statement on January 16, Roma president Dan Friedkin and the American billionaire’s son, Ryan, who helps him oversee the running of the club, said an “immediate change” was “in the best interests” of the team.

“We would like to thank Jose on behalf of all of us at AS Roma for his passion and efforts since his arrival,” they added.

“We will always have great memories of his tenure at Roma. We wish Jose and his assistants all the best in their future endeavours.”

The Friedkins were reported to have held a call about Mourinho’s future with chief executive Lina Souloukou following the defeat in Milan, according to La Repubblica, via Tutto Mercato Web.

Roma are four points shy of the European qualification places and five short of being guaranteed a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League.

They won four of their six Europa League group-stage games, finishing second behind Slavia Prague, and face a two-legged playoff in February against the team they beat in the Europa Conference League final, Feyenoord, to reach the round of 16.

On X – formerly Twitter – Roma shared a photo of Mourinho with the trophy he won during his spell with them, adding: “Thanks for everything on behalf of everyone at AS Roma, Jose.”

Jose Mourinho trophies won: Full list and club-by-club breakdown

Mourinho has won 26 club trophies to date and previously joked he’s actually won another half-trophy after he was sacked just days before Tottenham Hotspur played in the 2021 Carabao Cup final – although they went on to lose that 1-0 to Manchester City.

The noted tactician began picking up trophies in 2003 with Porto and added to his collection across stints with Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester United. 

Trophies won with Porto

Trophy Season
Primeira Liga 2002-03
Taca de Portugal 2002-03
Supertaca Candido de Oliveira 2003
UEFA Cup 2002-03
Primeira Liga 2003-04
UEFA Champions League 2003-04

Trophies won with Chelsea

Trophy Season
Carabao Cup 2004-05
Premier League 2004-05
FA Community Shield 2005
Premier League 2005-06
Carabao Cup 2006-07
FA Cup  2006-07
Carabao Cup 2014-15
Premier League 2014-15

Trophies won with Inter Milan

Trophy Season
Supercoppa Italiana 2008
Serie A 2008-09
Coppa Italia 2009-10
Serie A 2009-10
UEFA Champions League 2009-10

Trophies won with Real Madrid

Trophy Season
Copa del Rey 2010-11
La Liga  2011-12
Supercopa de Espana 2012

Trophies won with Manchester United

Trophy Season
FA Community Shield 2016
Carabao Cup 2016-17
UEFA Europa League 2016-17

Trophies won with AS Roma

Trophy Season
UEFA Conference League 2022

Mourinho trophies, record, form with Roma

The appointment of Mourinho nine months after their $700m (£553.7m) takeover of Roma was something of a statement signing for the Friedkins, although his reputation had been damaged by his dismissal by Tottenham in April 2021, which was his third Premier League sacking in six years after he met the same fate at Manchester United and Chelsea.

Nicolo Zaniolo’s 32nd-minute goal gave Roma a 1-0 win over Feyenoord in the Europa Conference League final. They also took the lead in last season’s Europa League final before losing on penalties to the most successful side in the history of the competition, Sevilla.

Roma reached the semifinals of the Europa League during Mourinho’s first season in charge but lost the first leg 6-2 at United — the team with whom Mourinho had won the 2016/17 edition — as part of an 8-5 aggregate defeat.

Fabio Rossi/AS Roma via Getty Images

Mourinho’s first major signing was Tammy Abraham from Chelsea for £34m ($42.9m), and the striker top-scored with 27 goals across all competitions in his new manager’s first season in charge.

Roma topped the table after winning Mourinho’s first three league matches at the helm. A run of nine defeats in 18 games in Serie A ensued, followed by a 12-match unbeaten run.

Abraham struggled to recapture his prolific form in his second season as Roma finished with the fewest goals of any team in the top nine, a run of four points in seven matches near the end of the campaign helping to ensure they finished seven points short of fourth place.

Former Juventus attacker Paulo Dybala arrived on a free transfer and top-scored with 18 goals, and Roma finished second to Real Betis in the Europa League group stage, overcoming a 1-0 first-leg defeat to Salzburg to win 2-1 on aggregate in the playoffs for the knockout stage.

Their run to the final took in wins over Real Sociedad, Feyenoord and Bayer Leverkusen, keeping clean sheets in five of the six matches they played across those ties.

In Mourinho’s absence after their loss at the San Siro on Sunday, Andrea Belotti was the only Roma representative to face the media – and the striker described the squad as “feeling like we have hit rock bottom right now”.

“It does mean the only way is up,” said Belotti, speaking to DAZN about a team deprived of Dybala, among several injury absentees. “We don’t have someone with Paulo’s characteristics and therefore have to change our way of playing, but few players in the world have his quality and creativity.

“We must do everything possible to get up the table because a team with this potential cannot be in this position. Things aren’t going our way at the moment but we only need a spark to change that.”

Mourinho referee criticism and touchline bans

Fiery Mourinho, whose contract had been due to expire in June 2024, became as well known for his transgressions towards officials as his achievements during his time in Italy,

The 61-year-old began this season with a ban for calling Daniele Chiffi “the worst referee I have encountered in my entire career” after Roma played Monza in May.

Mourinho, who also said he had worn a microphone during that matchday, was fined £43,000 ($55,000) for his comments, which came in the wake of an incident captured in social media footage when he approached referee Anthony Taylor in a car park to call the Englishman a “f****** disgrace” following the 2022/23 Europa League final.

That earned Mourinho a four-match ban in Europe. Among other offences, he also received a £17,000 ($22,000) fine for questioning referee Matteo Marcenaro’s “emotional stability” in December.

Next Roma manager: De Rossi appointed to end of 2023/24 season

Roma said they expected further updates on their coaching staff to follow “imminently” and announced hours later that day that club legend Daniele De Rossi had been appointed until the end of the 2023/24 season.

A 2006 World Cup winner with Italy as a midfielder, De Rossi won three trophies across 616 appearances for Roma between 2001 and 2019 and went on to serve as one of Roberto Mancini’s assistants as the Azzurri won Euro 2020.

De Rossi took his first club managerial job at Serie B side SPAL in October 2022 but was sacked four months later with the club 18th in the table.

“I know no other way but dedication, daily sacrifices and giving everything I have in order to face the challenges that await us from now until the end of the season,” said De Rossi.

“The excitement of being able to sit on our bench is indescribable. Everyone knows what Roma means to me. However, the work that awaits us all has already taken precedence.

“We have no time or choice but to be competitive, fight for our goals and try to achieve them, which are the only priorities my staff and I have set for ourselves.”

De Rossi’s first game in charge was at home to Verona on January 20. “We feel that the leadership and ambition that have always defined him can prove decisive in achieving the team’s objectives until the end of the season,” said the Friedkins.

“We were aware of Daniele’s unbreakable bond with the club but his enthusiasm for accepting the position for the next few months convinced us even more of his ability to be a guide for the players and a proud representative of the club’s values.”

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