Mourinho: ‘I slept better after Dybala release clause expired’


Roma boss Jose Mourinho revealed that he sleeps better at night knowing that Paulo Dybala’s release clause date has expired. The Portuguese tactician gave a long interview with Il Corriere dello Sport (via RomaPress) ahead of the new campaign, covering his motivations for remaining in football at this point in his life, the status of a number of his squad players, and why he turned down offers to coach in Saudi Arabia this summer:

“If you tell me José, let’s talk about Budapest, I’m in. But if you ask me to talk about Italy, about political defeats, about the opinions expressed by the people and also about the offenses received, it disturbs me. I said fear, perhaps fear is too much, annoyance is better. I think that, institutionally, they should have treated me differently, as a man with great international experience, one who has coached in England, Spain.”

“Budapest, from a human point of view, was one of the most beautiful experiences of my career, because I saw everything, beautiful things, I saw an incredible fanbase rally behind the team, I saw people who certainly didn’t eat well for a few weeks just to being present at the stadium, being there with us, I saw a solid group of players with an incredible passion. I saw people chasing an absolutely fantastic dream and experience the sadness of defeat.”

“Bobby Robson often told me that in the moment of sadness you have to think about the joy of the winner. I followed his advice, I wanted to be close to our people and we respected the joy of the Sevilla fans, we greeted our Spanish colleagues, we behaved, on the pitch, with exceptional fairness and humility.”

“I’ll tell you after what happened at full-time, and this is the truth. The game ends, I enter the field with my family and the families of the players, I see so many people crying, I never cry after a defeat… I absorb all those emotions. I come back because I want to be with the players in that moment of absolute sadness, and with the fans I bring the players to the Sevilla fans and players and to receive the medals, we participate in the ceremony, we are impeccable.”

“In those minutes I felt that I had to be the father of the family, so I told the group “I’ll stay with you next year too”. The reaction of the boys was splendid, in that moment it was all over.”

“Once everything is finished, we go back to the locker room, we go down to the parking lot and the referee group arrives. So then, I go up to the two referee assistants, Webb and Rosetti with whom I have a good relationship. I ask Rosetti about Fernando’s hand-ball, and I ask him, was it a penalty? And he doesn’t reply. Then I ask the same question to Webb. He put his hand on my shoulder and said, ‘Yes, Jose, that was a penalty for you.”

“Webb did what I wish Anthony Taylor had done. Because if Taylor or someone in his place, after the game, had come to us, in the locker room, and said “I was wrong, we were wrong, I’m sorry”, not only would it have ended there, but he would have had our respect. and our admiration. We all make mistakes, maybe I was wrong during that game too.”

“I keep thinking one thing: Taylor is good, if not very good at what he does, the relationship I had in England is also positive, he seems to me a decent man, I’ve never questioned his honesty. The only thing I say and will always say is that it was a penalty and with that penalty Roma could have won. Before that penalty I didn’t like his direction at all, I didn’t like his technical and disciplinary choices, but I still think he’s a very good referee.”

“If you ask me what was the thing in two years and two months in Rome that made me feel more fragile, I would answer that it wasn’t Mkhitaryan’s departure, having lost a player I like so much and having played for a year and a half with only 4 central defenders when it’s normal to have 6. The saddest thing was not being supported by the club in such a situation. I will serve the suspension for 4 games, I can’t look at UEFA in a negative way, it will be 4 games in which I will feel like a fan. It will be tough for us, it will be tough for me, it will be tough for the team, for my assistants and what we are mainly trying to do is prepare the players for my absence from the sidelines for 6 games.”

“If Budapest was a dream, we are now cultivating another one, Dublin, and we will play the competition to get there.”

“Pinto? Everything that has been written about us is bullshit. We spend every single day together. Ours is a relationship of respect, even formal. We don’t always agree, this is not the case. He has a more direct and constant relationship with the club, because it’s part of his job.”

“When Tammy Abraham got injured I immediately came up with one name to replace him, but I was told we cannot afford him right now. So even when we don’t agree, Pinto wants the same things that I want. Our goal is for the team to achieve the best possible result.”

“Dybala? When August 1st arrived and his release clause could no longer be activated, I slept like a baby. He is of the highest level players I’ve ever come across and for us he is gold, we cannot give him up.”

“When we are forced to do it because he is injured or because he is tired, we are in serious trouble. His quality as a player didn’t surprise me at all. It is the person that struck me, I always say that the good ones are like this: humble, respectful with others. I have witnessed many generations, because I have been training as an assistant since 1992 and even earlier, since 1991 , and this boy is not of this generation. He is fantastic, I tell you that he is fantastic, people know his potential as a player, I can tell that the potential as a man is not inferior.”

“Saudi? It’s true I rejected two offers from Al-Ahli and Al-Hilal. Before going to the meeting, I informed the property clarifying that I had no intention of accepting. At home I said exactly the same thing.”


Serie A obsessive.