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Jose Mourinho responds to Francesco Totti praise: ‘Too bad I arrived four years late’

·2-min read
Jose Mourinho (PA Wire)
Jose Mourinho (PA Wire)

Jose Mourinho is endearing himself to the Roma faithful already as he was humbled by comments from the legendary Francesco Totti ahead of his tenure in charge of the Italian club.

The former-Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham manager signed a three-year contract with the Serie A side after he was sacked by Spurs in April and the Portuguese boss is going to Rome next week to begin his new role.

Totti, arguably the most iconic player in Roma history, welcomed the appointment of Mourinho to replace Paulo Fonseca, and the 2006 World Cup winner heaped praise on the 58-year-old.

“Mourinho, when he arrives, will say what he thinks,” Totti said at an ambassadorial event in Rome. “We are waiting for him to arrive. We have taken on the strongest coach in the world.

“Would it have been nice to be coached by Mou? When I was young, yes.”

Mourinho clearly appreciated Totti’s comments and the incoming Roma boss took to Instagram to respond on Thursday.

Along with an image of the pair when Mourinho was coaching Real Madrid against Totti’s Roma, the caption revealed the former-Spurs manager’s admiration for the Italian.

“Thanks for your words Francesco, too bad I arrived four years late. Training you would have been a pleasure.”

The comment also included the hashtag #UnCapitano as a tribute to the one-club man and AS Roma legend.

Mourinho was reportedly set to be unveiled by the club at the Colosseum before he got to work, but those plans have been cancelled.

After his appointment in May, Mourinho thanked the Friedkin family – the club’s American owners – for trusting him to lead Roma forwards next season.

“Thank you to the Friedkin family for choosing me to lead this great club and to be part of their vision,” Mourinho said. “After meetings with ownership and (general manager) Tiago Pinto, I immediately understood the full extent of their ambitions for AS Roma. It is the same ambition and drive that has always motivated me and together we want to build a winning project over the upcoming years.

“The incredible passion of the Roma fans convinced me to accept the job and I cannot wait to start next season.

“In the meantime, I wish Paulo Fonseca all the best and I hope the media appreciate that I will only speak further in due course.”

Pinto, who joined Roma in November last year, heaped praise on Mourinho and spoke of the club’s excitement in appointing him.

“When Jose became available, we immediately jumped at the chance to speak with one of the greatest managers of all time.

“We were blown away by Jose’s desire to win and his passion for the game: no matter how many trophies he has won, his primary focus is always on the next one. He possesses the knowledge, experience and leadership to compete at all levels.”

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