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Roma announces Mourinho is leaving the club 'with immediate effect'

José Mourinho José Mourinho - The Canadian Press

ROME (AP) — It started with a big success. It descended into ugly outbursts and devastating defeats.

And now José Mourinho's turbulent tenure at Roma is finished.

Roma announced on Tuesday that the outspoken coach was leaving the club “with immediate effect” — two days after a 3-1 loss at AC Milan left the Giallorossi in ninth place in Serie A and at risk of missing the Champions League for a sixth straight season.

The club was also eliminated by Lazio in an Italian Cup derby last week.

Former Roma captain Daniele De Rossi, 40, was named as Mourinho’s replacement, with a contract through to the end of the season.

Mourinho was in his third season at the club and his contract was due to expire in June. He led the Giallorossi to the UEFA Conference League title in his first season and Roma was a Europa League finalist last season.

But Mourinho was also given a series of bans for his protests and tirades against referees — which were clearly not appreciated by Roma’s American owners.

Mourinho was suspended by UEFA from four European games for verbally abusing the Europa League final referee in a stadium garage after Roma lost to Sevilla. He was also suspended for the game at Milan on Sunday due to protests.

“AS Roma can confirm that José Mourinho and his coaching staff will leave the club with immediate effect,” the club said in a statement.

“We would like to thank José on behalf of all of us at AS Roma for his passion and efforts since his arrival at the club,” said owners Dan and Ryan Friedkin. “We will always have great memories of his tenure at Roma, but we believe that an immediate change is in the best interests of the club.”

The 60-year-old Mourinho, who said last month that he wanted to extend his contract at Roma, could be headed to a club in Saudi Arabia or a national team position.

The Conference League title in 2022 marked Roma’s first European trophy in more than six decades. It was also Mourinho’s fifth European title.

Mourinho also won the 2003 UEFA Cup and 2004 Champions League with Porto; the 2010 Champions League with Inter Milan; and the 2017 Europa League with Manchester United — making him the first manager to lead four different clubs to European titles. He also coached Chelsea and Real Madrid to numerous domestic trophies.

But Mourinho’s defensive style is a struggle to watch and his expensive contract was a burden for Roma’s finances. The Portuguese coach, though, played a key role in luring standout players like Paulo Dybala and Romelu Lukaku to join the Giallorossi — and a constantly soldout Stadio Olimpico for matches was attributed to his outsized personality.

De Rossi's appointment in a caretaker role won't slow speculation that the club wants to hire Antonio Conte to take over next season.

“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,” the Friedkins said.

The 40-year-old De Rossi played 18 seasons with Roma as a midfielder and won the World Cup with Italy in 2006. He coached SPAL in Serie B for four months last season and was an assistant to Roberto Mancini as Italy won the European Championship in 2021.

De Rossi’s father, Alberto, coached Roma’s under-19 team for nearly two decades.

“The excitement of being able to sit on our bench is indescribable. Everyone knows what Roma means to me,” De Rossi said. “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 will be against relegation-threatened Hellas Verona at the Olimpico on Saturday.


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